trialling an organic fruit & vegetable box
i love the idea of vegetable boxes – fresh, seasonal and local fruit and vegetables delivered to us folks who don’t have access to farm shops and worry that the local farmers market is just one big swizz which allows enterprising traders to push up their prices on bog-standard produce (i once bought organic flat peaches from a farmer’s stall only to get home and find that they had sainsbury’s taste the difference stickers on them which the trader had forgotten to peel off!).
despite this i’ve never had a vegetable box delivered. my love for the idea is tempered by a slight discomfort at the thought of not being able to choose what to buy (most of my vegetable shopping is whimsical rather than planned) and being stuck with vast amounts of potatoes (dull) and carrots (also dull but at least david is happy to eat them raw).
so, it was with trepidation that i accepted able & cole’s very kind offer to provide me with a mixed box so i could see what they have to offer.
my box contained the following: apples, bananas, clementines, carrots, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, savoy cabbage and white onions.
the fruit was quickly disposed of in our regular smoothies and via david’s niece who is a clementine fan. the vegetables lasted significantly longer and made their way into an amazing variety of dishes.
- nigel slater’s leek and potato soup was made silky and rich with the addition of parmesan and i used the rest of the leeks in a leek and pancetta risotto.
- our spanish snapper used up most of the remaining potatoes but there were still a few left for my parsnip and potato bake.
- the mushrooms were split between stuffed pork tenderloin (which was served with lemony savoy cabbage) and our christmas day lunch of hot & sour soup with thai dumplings
- the onions have made it into many dishes over the past few weeks but the carrots didn’t make it beyond raw snack status other than the few in the hot & sour soup.
it was a really interesting experience – i wasn’t very excited about the choice of vegetables when they arrived but am quite happy with all the dishes they lead to, some of which i wouldn’t have tried simply because i don’t normally buy those vegetables.
moving forward, i think i’d choose the able & cole deluxe vegetable boxes rather than the standard mixed, as the variety of veggies is broader. however, i get the feeling that many of these more interesting vegetables aren’t necessarily the best eco-option even if they do tick the organic box.