Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

A creamy homemade poppyseed salad dressing, made from mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and poppyseeds.
A creamy homemade poppyseed salad dressing, made from mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and poppyseeds.

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Poppyseed dressing is a sweet and sour vinaigrette-style dressing that was popularized in the 1950s by chef and cookbook author Helen Corbitt. A young Irish Catholic gal from New York, she became a real tastemaker for Texas after moving there to take a teaching job for the catering and restaurant management department at the University of Texas and holding a career that spanned nearly 40 years in the state of Texas.

Her poppy-seed dressing is one of the fruit salad dressings that her students learned and became fond of, and in later years, after joining Neiman Marcus as the director of food services, it also became well loved there, even making it to the restaurant menu. Her recipe is made with a vegetable oil base, but I prefer the creamy version, making mine with mayonnaise as the base. Imagine that!

Poppyseed dressing is a great spring dressing for many varieties of chopped salads, and while, as always, there are a multitude of variations in how this dressing is made - some even using a garlic aioli or homemade mayonnaise base - I like to shortcut the process by using a commercial mayonnaise (I like Duke's), making this dressing simple, quick and easy to throw together, but still tasty.

A great dressing for any basic green salad, it's also delicious on a variety of spinach salads, often used on the well loved spring strawberry and spinach salad version. It's a great addition to any fruit salad though, including those made with mixed citrus segments like orange, blood orange, tangerine and grapefruit sections or offered alongside a platter of fresh fruits, such as mixed blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, seedless grapes and sliced melon. Drizzle it over a grilled chicken breast, sliced over mixed salad greens and it even makes a nice dressing for cabbage salads and slaws.

Here's how I make it.

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Recipe: Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 00 min
Total time: 1 hour 40 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons of grated onion, with juice, optional
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of poppy seeds

Whisk together the sugar and vinegar until blended. Whisk in the mayonnaise, grated onion and poppy seeds until well combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve, thinning with milk if needed.

Cook's Notes: May substitute honey, to taste, for the granulated sugar and Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise, adding just a bit of lemon juice. If you are serving this with a salad including onions, you may want to omit the grated onion. A pinch of dry mustard may be added for extra flavor and apple cider vinegar exchanged, however both will tint the dressing.


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Posted by on June 5, 2013
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