Veggie box hacks: How to make the most of your produce delivery
Take the mystery food challenge with expert tips for wrangling your fresh produce box.
Never before has it been more fun to be a home cook. Through weeks of COVID-19 hibernation, we've been taking our time in the kitchen and making all sorts of goodies from scratch. And in the ultimate show of home-cook confidence, we’ve been having a red-hot crack at one of the great kitchen levellers – the mystery box of fresh seasonal produce.
Big, generous boxes of fruit and veg have become a survival line for struggling restaurants and cafes, with chefs and waiters now home-delivering restaurant-quality fresh produce along with meals to keep their businesses afloat and support the farmers who supply them.
It’s a captivating offer. Super-fresh seasonal fruit and veg direct to your door, sparking daydreams of hearty home-made soups, casseroles and curries.
But what of the reality when a super-sized mystery box arrives at your door, overflowing with a huge pile of brassicas and a glossy bunch of silverbeet that’s bigger than your fridge.
“The secret here is to not panic,” says celebrated chef and cookbook author Matt Wilkinson, owner of East Brunswick’s Pie Shop and creative director at Four Pillars Gin.
“Take everything out of the box and have a think about what you can do with them. If you’re not sure, pull out some cookbooks for inspiration or just Google the ingredients. It’s important to plan out your menu for the week so you don’t waste any food.
“It might be as simple as having an amazing Sunday roast and doing leftovers for a few days. Cold roasted vegetables with some cold meat is the perfect salad for me. Keep it simple. That’s always the best way.”