The original recipe for this Poppyseed Salad Dressing made a vat-sized quantity suitable for catering, and I think also included egg yolks.
At one time (many moons ago – before Vancouver, and teaching, and children) my friend and I would carry small bottles of it with us when we went out to eat because we thought it was better than any salad dressing we were likely to get.
The original recipe is lost somewhere between here and 1990 (and the tweaks to it have been tweaked and tweaked again).
This dressing may or may not become your favorite, but if there is ever one thing you are going to make rather than buy, let it be salad dressing:
- Your fridge won’t be filled with half-used bottles of over-powering sauces of questionable vintage.
- Your salad greens won’t be weighed down by dressings that are really better suited as dips.
- You won’t have any plastic bottles to recycle.
If you have a food processor, mix all the ingredients except the oil and poppy seeds. With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. When all the oil is incorporated, turn off the machine and pour the contents into a jar. Add the poppy seeds and stir or gently shake to distribute them.
If you don’t have a food processor, use a whisk to mix the dressing by hand.
If you don’t have the patience for any of that, measure your ingredients into a jar and shake. The mustard will help the oil and vinegar hold together for serving. (If it starts to separate, just shake the jar again.)
The original recipe included finely chopped onion, but I replaced the fresh onion with dried. (The taste of fresh onion gets stronger as the dressing sits, so if you are keeping it on hand for a few days the fresh onion can get too onion-y.)
Store any unused dressing in the fridge for up to a week.
Here are some other salad dressings you might like to try:
You can substitute different vinegars in this recipe, but don't substitute with lemon juice because the flavor will be too strong. Use a neutral vegetable oil, not olive oil. Olive oil will make the dressing too heavy and will overpower the dressing.
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml honey
- 1-1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 ml Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon / 1.25 ml salt
- 1/8 teaspoon / 6.25 ml ground pepper
- 1-1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 ml dehydrated onions
- 1 cup / 250 ml vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons / 22.5 ml poppyseeds
In bowl of food processor, combine vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper and onions. Whizz in processor briefly to mix.
With motor running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until it is all incorporated. You should add is slowly enough that as it is added to the mixture in the food processor is it mixed in right away: you shouldn't be able to see the oil as a separate ingredient. (Don't worry if you add it too quickly - the dressing will still taste fine: it will just separate more easily.)
Pour the dressing into a bowl or jar and stir in the poppy seeds. Store unused dressing in the refrigerator for up to one week. If the dressing separates, shake it gently to mix.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper and onions until combined.
While whisking, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until it is all incorporated.
Stir in the poppyseeds.