Rhubarb-Apple Cake with Almonds

A great baking project for an afternoon at home. Top with a dollop of our sweetened crème fraîche!

Ingredients:
1½ cups diced rhubarb
1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
1¼ cups sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅓ cup sliced almonds
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a 9-inch round pan.

2. Beat 1¼ cups sugar and the butter together using an electric mixer until well blended, light, and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract, mixing well after each addition.

3. Turn mixer to low speed and slowly add in flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt, mixing just until combined. Fold in rhubarb. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top and place apple slices in a circular pattern on the batter. Sprinkle the almonds and a little additional sugar on top.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool, and serve warm or cold.

Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad

Tossed with a sweet-tart citrus dressing, this salad is fresh and bright and pairs nicely with just about any main dish.

Ingredients:
1 large bunch Lacinato kale, greens removed from thick stems, washed and patted dry
1 cup slivered almonds
⅓ cup lemon juice
1½ cups olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
Sea salt

Method:
1. In a small skillet, toast almonds until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

2. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and 1 heaping teaspoon salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Using the flat side of a knife, crush the garlic cloves and add to the dressing, setting aside to steep.

3. Working in batches, cut the kale into thin ribbons and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the almonds. Remove and discard garlic cloves from dressing. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss. Taste for both dressing and salt, adding more as needed. Serve within 1 hour.

Grilled Peach Salad with Marcona Almonds

With peppery arugula and a red wine vinaigrette, this salad would also be incredible tossed with smoked chicken.

Ingredients:
3-4 peaches, pitted and quartered
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup Marcona almonds
3 cups loosely-packed arugula
1 cup crumbled Westward blue cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.

2. Add the peaches to a large bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Grill for about 2-3 minutes, flesh side down, until peaches are slightly softened and have grill marks.

3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, mustard, honey and remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

4. Gently toss the warm peaches in the dressing. Serve over a bed of arugula and sprinkle almonds and blue cheese over the top.

Charred Green Bean Salad

This simple, satisfying salad courtesy of chef Michael Symon always gets rave reviews!

Ingredients:
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup sliced toasted almonds
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Prepare a grill for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, build the hot coals on one side only. If using a gas grill, heat one side only to medium-high heat.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook at a rapid boil until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the green beans to an ice bath, then dry on a kitchen towel.

3. Add the green beans to a grill basket and place over indirect heat to char them slightly, about 5 minutes. You do not have to cover the grill. When they reach the char level you are looking for, transfer them to a serving platter.

4. Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard and oregano in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly, then season with salt and pepper. Pour the oregano vinaigrette over the green beans while still warm, then sprinkle with the feta and almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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