Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Poppy Seed Dressing

Long, long ago, in a time before I made most things from scratch, my favorite salad dressing was Briannas brand Poppy Seed Dressing. Kurt would occasionally grab a bottle of the Blush Wine Vinaigrette of the same brand, but if I got to the shelf first, it was Poppy Seed that landed in the shopping cart. For years, I’ve been whipping up all sorts of homemade vinaigrettes, creamy parmesan dressings, Caesar salad dressings, and whathaveyou, and I had all but forgotten about my old favorite poppy seed. Then, along came a story about poppy seeds in the April issue Saveur magazine. Included in that story was the recipe for Poppy Seed Dressing which was first made popular in the 1950s by Helen Corbitt. Poppy seed dressing is sweet, tangy, and somewhat creamy without being too thick. It’s perfect with butter lettuce, and it's a great match for cucumber and tomato.

Although it took me a few months to get around to making this dressing, it ended up being worth the wait. In August, our friends who live in Dublin were visiting Austin for a week. They brought us beautiful food gifts of Irish, cold pressed, extra virgin rapeseed oil and rapeseed oil with chile. This plain rapeseed oil, which is another name for canola oil, has a rich, nutty flavor, and it made the homemade poppy seed dressing extra flavorful. To make the dressing, poppy seeds were cooked for a few minutes until toasted, and then sugar, white wine vinegar, dry mustard powder, salt, pepper, and grated onion with the juice were added. The mix was cooked just until it came to a simmer, and then it was poured into the blender pitcher. Rapeseed oil and olive oil were added, and the dressing was pureed until smooth. You can store the dressing in the refrigerator for about five days. It may need a quick stir before using.

I always loved that poppy seed dressing from the grocery store, but this homemade version was better by far. The flavors were so fresh and bright. With locally grown, just-picked vegetables and homemade dressing, this simple salad was unbelievably good. I’m glad to have reconnected with my old favorite type of salad dressing, and now I’ll be making my own often.


25 comments:

  1. I always try to make different salad dressings at home. I am definitely trying this one. Hope it is not too hard to find the oil. Looks refreshing with the poppy seeds!

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  2. I've never had a dressing with poppy seeds in it. I love your image. Your salad is beautifully presented xx

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  3. I bet that flavour goes perfectly with salad :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  4. One of my favourite salad dressings!

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  5. I've been a big poppy seed dressing fan for a while also but never thought to make it myself! DOH! Looks so tasty!

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  6. This looks fantastic. I am totally trying this over the weekend!

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  7. You got me VERY curious about poppyseed dressing... I will have to grab a bottle at the grocery store just to try it. I confess to buying a few salad dressings at the store for the convenience. What can I say? I am not perfect... ;-)

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    1. Sally: Oh no! You have to try the homemade version! ;)

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    2. I will make it for sure! will let you know once I do it...

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  8. We love poppy seed dressing but never thought in making my own...looks delicious and so refreshing.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Lisa :)

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  9. This is stunning Lisa. I love good salad dressings. They can either make or break a salad. Such a nice light dressing too!

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  10. Found your blog from this flaunt website thing. pretty cool. my friend told me to go there and i'm glad i did, cuz i found you! I love the salad dressing in the pic!

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  11. So tasty. I rarely make my own salad dressing but am always so happy when I do. This recipe is great.

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  12. I'd forgotten all about poppyseed dressing and how much I liked it. I would never have thought to make it myself, but why not? As you say, I make other salad dressings. Yummy looking salad!

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  13. Gosh Lisa, I didn't even know that poppyseed dressing existed! Thanks for bringing it to my attention :-) Looks deliciously light and fresh :-)

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  14. i pretty much hate every dressing ever created, but for some reason, i love a poppy seed vinaigrette! that said, i've never made a poppy seed dressing myself, what a surprise to learn that you toast the little seeds!

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  15. That looks great. I love a good poppy dressing, although I've never made my own. Thanks!

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  16. I really like poppy seeds, but have never made a poppy seed dressing. Something I should try for sure! Really good stuff - thanks.

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  17. It's funny - with all the cooking I do, I rarely make homemade dressing. I don't know why, because it tastes so wonderful and is usually pretty easy. Thanks for the great idea starter!

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  18. homemade poppy seed dressing sounds wonderful!

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  19. The recipe for the poppy seed dressing sounds good. Nice photo of it dressing your salad.

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  20. Beautiful shot of the salad! You're getting to be a pro at styling plates. I also love a good poppy seed dressing and make my own as well but I keep it refrigerated for far more than 5 days. Any reason why this particular recipe only keeps for such a short time?

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    1. Shelley: When a dressing has a fresh vegetable, onion in this case, I tend to only keep it for five days. With the vinegar involved, it would probably keep longer, but I'm not sure how long.

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