The Sensitive Kitchen

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mixed Berry Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing

Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.

2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp buttermilk
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 oz soft goat cheese
8 cups mixed baby greens (some arugula is nice, no more than 1/4 of total)
1 container blueberries
1 container blackberries
1 container raspberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, cut in eighths
1/4 cup shelled pistachios

Combine first 7 ingredients (vinegar through cheese) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

Combine greens, nuts and berries in a large bowl. Drizzle goat cheese mixture over lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Goat Cheese, Tomato and Basil Tart

This can also be made as a quiche, in a pie pan, if you increase the amount of custard filling. It tastes just as good, but it's prettier in the tart pan, and no more difficult.

unbaked pastry crust
3 ozs soft goat cheese
1/2 cup half-and-half (approximate; can use fat free)
3 eggs
salt and pepper
1 ounce Romano or other hard grating cheese
1/4 cup basil chiffonade
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and sliced lengthwise

Fit the pastry crust into a 10" tart pan with a removable bottom. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place goat cheese in a bowl. Add half-and-half; mash with a fork to break up cheese. When mostly smooth, crack in eggs, add salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth. Set custard aside.

Grate Romano into of the tart crust, covering the bottom evenly. Add tomato slices in a fan pattern. Sprinkle with basil. Gently pour custard over top. Liquid should cover tomatoes and basil, leaving a 1/4" lip to the top of the crust.

Bake for 30 minutes or until custard is set. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Israeli Couscous with Browned Butter, Pine Nuts and Basil

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 c red onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 c Israeli couscous
1 3/4 c broth of choice
1/4 c julienned basil
1/4 c toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper

In a large stainless steel saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook until foaming and crackling subside. When butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, add red onion and bay leaf. Cook until onion is softened. Add couscous, stirring to coat with butter. Cook until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Pour in broth. Cover and simmer 12 minutes or until broth is absorbed and couscous is cooked. Stir in basil and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 3 cups.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peach Soft-Serve Ice Cream

This creamy soft-serve dessert should be eaten right away, not stored in the freezer for future consumption. Use only the best, ripest, juiciest, most fragrant peaches for best flavor. It can only help if you pick them yourself.

4 soft, fragrant, ripe peaches (about 2 pounds), peeled and pitted
1 c milk
1/2 c whipping cream or half-and-half (not ultra-pasteurized)
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp best-quality vanilla extract

Place peaches and sugar in a blender or food processor; process to a puree. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Chill in refrigerator until cold through, about 1 hour.

Pour peach mixture into an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately to your adoring, salivating fans. Makes six 3/4 cup servings.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

the. best. chocolate. cake. ever.

This fudgy brownie-style cake bakes up relatively flat, with a thin crackly crust on the top of each layer. The rich, dark frosting is best spread thinly. Serve to your chocoholic husband on his birthday with a tall glass of cold milk.


1 1/4 c Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips
3 sticks butter
2 1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 eggs

Butter generously 2 9" round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.

Melt chocolate and butter together over a double boiler or in microwave. Stir until combined. Remove from heat; stir in sugar. Let mixture cool 10 minutes.

Sift dry ingredients together. Set aside.

Beat chocolate-butter mixture 3 minutes in an electric mixer. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mixing until blended. Batter will be thick and glossy.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, spreading evenly with a spatula. Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2 c powdered sugar, or to taste

Melt chocolate and butter together over a double boiler or in microwave. Stir until combined. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and milk. Stir in powdered sugar, beating until spreadable. Use as soon as this stage is reached.


Brush layers of crumbs. Place first layer top down on a cake stand. Apply 3/4 cup frosting, spreading with an offset spatula to within 1/4 inch of edges. Top with remaining layer, top up. Apply remaining frosting to top of cake, spreading across top and down sides with offset spatula. Serve the same day for best texture.