European-Style Buckwheat Cake

Known as schwarzplententorte in German or torta di granosaraceno in Italian, this wonderfully moist and dense cake is usually eaten for breakfast together with a big cup of coffee—or as a morning or afternoon snack.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
6 eggs, separated
2¼ cups buckwheat flour
2¼ cups almonds, skins on if possible, pulverised into almond meal
1 apple, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Your favorite berry preserves
Powdered sugar

Method:
1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks and beat until pale and creamy. Add the buckwheat, almond meal, grated apple and vanilla extract until just combined.

2. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold in, bit by bit, into the batter until well combined and pour batter into a greased and lined round baking tin.

3. Bake at 350º for about 50 minutes or until the cake is deep golden brown on top and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove cake from tin and slice in half lengthways. Spread the bottom layer with a healthy spreading of jam and replace the top layer. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

Italian Summer Recipes

The Italian summer calls to mind visions of flavorful pasta enjoyed alongside a bottle of fine wine and beautifully prepared garden-grown produce. Hence, this week’s box captures the flavors of summer by way of Italy with Skagit River Ranch’s organic Italian sausage and imported semolina pasta to toss with a super-fresh heirloom tomato sauce, plus garlic fougasse bread and creamy chevre cheese from Lost Peacock Creamery. Also included for this relaxed, refreshing meal: Ripe and juicy summer nectarines, Badge Flame beets and other seasonal highlights like Romano beans, English cucumber and Little Gem Romaine.

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

Summer Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Italian Sausage
This light and lovely pasta makes the best of summer heirlooms; we also recommend adding a dollop of creamy chevre to each serving!

Baked Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes
Juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs and a touch of cream lend rich appeal to this dish.

Cherry Tomato-Beet Salad
Topped with a mustard-balsamic dressing, this cherry tomato and roasted beet salad is incredibly flavorful.

Escarole Salad with Grana-Dijon Dressing
A wonderful side salad to this week’s pasta!

Romano Beans with Caramelized Tropea Onions
These beautiful beans are tossed with Italian red onions and fresh parsley.

Blueberry-Nectarine Buckle
This easy dessert is sure to please the whole family!

Summer Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Italian Sausage

This light and lovely pasta makes the best of summer heirlooms; we also recommend adding a dollop of creamy chevre to each serving!

Ingredients:
1 pound semolina pasta of your choice
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound mixed cherry and heirloom tomatoes, cut in half for the cherry tomatoes, and then in bite-sized chunks for the larger heirlooms
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons finely-chopped shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup julienned basil leaves
Chevre cheese, for garnish
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, red pepper flakes, shallot and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste, and allow to sit while preparing the rest of the dish so that the flavors meld.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the water, stir gently and cook until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.

3. In a large skillet, cook the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, crumbling into bite-sized pieces, until cooked through and no longer pink. Add the tomato mixture and the drained pasta to the skillet and toss thoroughly to combine. Stir in the basil and season with additional salt if needed. Transfer to individual serving bowls and add a generous dollop of chevre cheese to each and drizzle again with olive oil before serving.

Lemon Risotto

This risotto showcases bright lemon flavors—just remember to keep stirring!

Ingredients:
1½ cups Arborio rice
8 tablespoons butter
4 cups warm chicken stock
½ cup white wine
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (if desired)
1¼ cups grated Grana-style cheese
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ cup preserved Meyer lemons (see recipe), drained and chopped

Method:
1. In a sauce pan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and then turn down to a simmer to keep hot. In another large sauce pan over medium low heat, melt 4-5 tablespoons of butter and cook the garlic and shallot until soft but not brown.

2. Turn the heat up and add the Arborio rice. Stir for about one minute. Add a ladleful of stock to the rice and continue stirring until almost absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock and the wine and continue stirring; repeat until all the stock is gone and the rice is creamy and tender.

3. Stir in the remaining butter and grated Grana-style cheese until melted. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest and season liberally with salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with preserved lemons and parsley, then serve immediately.

Variation: This risotto is wonderful topped with radishes sautéed in butter with garlic, spinach, kale and pea shoots!

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