Ready Ravioli from Rising Moon

SVFCRisingMoonCraving delicious handmade ravioli, but don’t want to make it yourself?

Let the Rising Moon do the work. Rising Moon Organics is based in Eugene, Oregon and handcrafts vegetarian, certified organic pastas and sauces. The company began delivering its products by bicycle over 20 years ago. Since then Rising Moon has expanded to include a line of frozen entrees and pizzas, sauces, and raviolis. The Co-op currently offers the following flavor varieties: Wild Chantrelle Mushroom, Asiago Pinenut Pesto, Creamy Artichoke and Olive, and Garlic Gorgonzola, as well as a Italian Cheese Mini Ravioli meal bowl with fresh asparagus and peas. A great deal this month — these 8 oz. frozen ravioli packages are regularly $4.49 each — now on sale for $3.39!

While each package of ravioli is loaded with flavor and makes a great meal on its own, try dressing ‘em up with some sauteed vegetables, freshly grated cheese, and a drizzle of bulk organic extra virgin olive oil. Ready your forks!

Cheese Whisperer: Perail Papillion

ChsperailpapPerail Papillon is a wrapped, palm sized disc of Brie-style cheese made from pure, whole sheep’s (ewe’s) milk from the Aveyron region of Southern France. To ensure high-quality, nutrient-rich milk, the sheep are pastured at high-altitude, where prized grasses are abundant.

Perail has a melt-in-your-mouth, buttery, mild flavor, with notes of sweet grass and wildflowers. This brie is perfect for parties, picnics, and breakfast. Regularly $5.99 each, they’re now on sale for $3.99 each!

Traditional Brie cheese is named for its place of origin in France: the Brie region, located in Champagne country. (No wonder it goes so well with sparkling wines!) Bries are fresh cheeses — aged several weeks and inoculated by penicillin cheese cultures, which result in the characteristic flavorful, bloomy white rind and buttery center.

As they ripen, Bries tend to soften and sag. When searching for a strong-flavored, slightly pungent one, gently squeeze it and select the softest one. If you prefer a mild flavor, choose a firmer cheese. According to numerous sources, all Brie cheese are gluten-free.

For a terrific pairing combination, serve Perail with sour cherry jam, toasted nuts, and a glass of smokey and bright Chardonnay. Or go for a a glass of semi-dry Wyders Pear Cider.

Deli Summer Squash Salad

DeliSumSqSaladKeep cool with the Co-op Deli’s own Summer Squash Salad! Made fresh by our staff cooks, this featured salad showcases the bright flavors of the season.

Try a refreshing blend of fresh yellow and green squash with a light marinade of minced onion, garlic, lemon juice, fresh cilantro, and mint. The delicate flavor of creamy squash is perked up by the tang of flavorful onions, garlic, and lemon juice to create a bright, filling, and naturally gluten-free food! It’s crunchy, tasty, and makes a fine side dish to most meals.

The Co-op’s Summer Squash Salad makes it easy to eat healthy. It’s loaded with the benefits of summer squash, a food naturally high in fiber, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. Summer squash also boasts a host of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C and B vitamins. Source: Nutrition Facts and Data.

Like many of our fresh deli foods, this summer squash salad is a great, flavorful base to build another meal. Add a handful of chopped tomatoes,  cooked and chilled pasta or rice, and some crumbled feta (or bacon!) for a boost of protein, and you’ve got a filling and delightful lunch or dinner. Or make a cold soup by pureeing the salad with other favorite veggies (try tomatoes, beans, peas and/or hardy greens) and adjusting seasoning to taste.

Summer Squash Salad: now on sale for $4.99 per lb!

Skagit Brew Corner: Whistling Pig

SBCWhisPigGet familiar with a new arrival to the Co-op’s beer selection: locally brewed Whistling Pig Hefeweizen, an American wheat ale named for the whistling pig of Northwest Washington. Mild and refreshing with a slightly fruity finish, Whistling Pig is ideal for celebrating the end of a warm summer day.

Just in case you are wondering (as I was), whistle pigs are actually large squirrels known as marmots, small and furry critters that sometimes communicate with a sweet, high pitched whistle call. Marmots abound around Leavenworth, especially around Whistling Pig Meadow. (What are the odds?) So reward yourself with a bottle of this session-style beer when you feel like an industrious marmot, foraging for survival on the meadows of Northwestern Washington.

For over 20 years, Fish Brewing Company has made Whistling Pig as part of their Leavenworth Biers, a series of unfiltered beers inspired by traditional German flavors. Whistling Pig Hefeweizen is made in the south German style of a wheat beer (weissbier). It has a high ratio of wheat-to-barley malt and a yeast strain that is characterized by unique phenolic flavors of banana and spices, often with a dry and tart edge.

Typically with light hop bitterness and a moderate amount of alcohol, these beers are often unfiltered for a hazy, cloudy appearance. Classically, hefeweizens are well suited to pair with cheese. From light, creamy, soft-ripened bries to dense, waxed sharp cheddars, Whistling Pig’s sweet, fruit-forward malt flavors compliment the lactic tang of many styles of cultured curd.

Whistling Pig Hefeweizen from Leavenworth Biers, Fish Brewing, Olympia, WA. 5.4% Alcohol by volume / 22 IBU. This is a soft, grainy, sweet brew with undertones of lemon and apricot. Serve this brew with cheese plates and grilled summertime favorites such as burgers and hot dogs.

Hefeweizens have sweet, biscuity flavors that are versatile in recipes and other adventures in the kitchen. Try using hefeweizen to de-glaze a pan of roasted chicken or get adventurous and make a Honeydew Hefeweizen Beer Milkshake:

Recipe for Whistling Pig Hefeweizen Honeydew Milkshakebeermilkshake

(adapted from Eva’s Adventures in Cooking blog)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Honeydew melon
  • 3 and 1/3 cups organic Co-op vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup Whistling Pig Hefeweizen (Wheat Beer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Honeydew Slices for Garnish (optional)

Directions:

Peel, seed, and dice melon. Place the melon pieces in the freezer to chill for an hour or so; they will be cooler and add more substantial body to the milkshake. After the melon has chilled, add the pieces to a blender, and add ice cream, beer, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and serve immediately with honeydew slices for garnish. Enjoy!

The Cheese Whisperer: Bellavitano-a-Go-Go

The cheese arena stretches far and wide. Curds with varied characteristics, different aging times, and flavors abound and continue to challenge our understanding and comfort. Many popular cheeses are extra aged — typically meaning the milk curd has been cooked, pressed, and aged for over 1 year in order to develop intense, complex flavors, and firmer textures.

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Delicious Two Bean Salad with Balsamic Bellavitano aged cheese! Did I hear someone say “picnic”?

Speaking of such elegant and aged cheeses: the line of Sartori Bellavitano cheeses are versatile and currently on sale for $3.99 per wedge at the Co-op’s Cheese Island.

What a deal! These extra sharp specialty wedges are available as Asiago, Parmesan or flavored with Balsamic vinegar, Raspberry tart ale, and Merlot wine. These excellent aged cheeses are crafted in a style similar to a fine Parmesan: sweet and sharp with tiny crystals of crunch, also known as crystallized milk proteins (casein) that contain the amino acid tyrosine. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, and free of hormones and antibiotics.

Each of these high quality Bellavitano cheeses are a perfect addition to cheese plates. Or try crumbling them atop salads, pasta, and soups. Or add them to scrambled eggs or frittatas for breakfast.

Raspberry Bellavitano is a nutty, creamy aged cheese soaked with handcrafted Raspberry Tart ale. It features bright notes of red raspberries as well as caramelized sugar and hazelnuts. Most recently, it won a Bronze medal in the World Cheese Awards.

Balsamic Bellavitano is a sweet, tart, and fruit-flavored aged cheese that just won a Silver Medal at the World Cheese Awards. A classic aged Parmesan-style cheese accented with a few prized drops of genuine Modena balsamic vinegar. Cheesemaker Mike Matucheski blesses this cheese with a sweet coating that makes it ideal for cheese plates and pairings with toasted nuts, fresh green Castelveltrano olives and dried fruit.

Merlot Bellavitano is created by infusing the classic golden aged Bellavitano cheese with the rich, earthy plum-like flavors of Merlot wine. The marriage of creamy cheese flavor and tangy berry notes of Merlot paves the way for fabulous entertaining, alongside some toasted walnuts, thin slices of prosciutto, and semisweet chocolates for dessert.

Balsamic Bellavitano Two Bean Recipe (from Sartori website)

The following recipe makes for a delightful warm weather salad for outside entertaining or a simple family meal. It’s loaded with tangy, sweet, and fresh flavors sure that are sure to please. Read more The Cheese Whisperer: Bellavitano-a-Go-Go …