See bottom of page for variations on the poppy seed dressing. Raspberry Vinaigrette or Cranberry Vinaigrette can be easily made by adjusting a few of the dressing ingredients. The Cranberry Vinaigrette was a huge hit, served to 240 folks at our church’s annual Christmas Dinner. We just added thin-sliced red onion and dried cranberries to some spring greens. Quite a festive holiday salad!
The Poppy Seed dressing below can be simply mixed up in a bowl, hand-whisking the olive oil into the other ingredients—no blender clean-up. (The stirring method is convenient when making a smaller batch of the dressing.)
For a “Waldorf” style salad, Bosc pears are excellent; they have a firm, crunchy texture. But other pears (or apples, or even dried fruits), can substitute. Vary the salad by leaving out the blue cheese or replacing with crumbled goat cheese. Serves 8-10 (with extra dressing).
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/3 c. white vinegar
- 2 tsp. prepared Dijon, or similar mustard
- 1 scant tsp. salt
- 1 c. olive oil
- 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds
- 2 bags of mixed baby greens
- 2 or 3 thin-sliced pears, dipped in lemon (or sub apples)
- 2/3 c. pecans, toasted (or raw)
- (Optional) 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1. For dressing, bring the following to a boil in a saucepan, to dissolve sugar: > 3/4 c. sugar > 1/3 c. white vinegar
2. Use a blender (or immersion blender) to mix dressing, or hand whisk in a bowl. Mix well with the dissolved sugar/vinegar mix: > 2 tsp. prepared Dijon, or similar mustard > 1 scant tsp. salt
3. Last, blend in: > 1 c. olive oil > 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds
4. This will make enough dressing for two big salads. Use about half of the dressing over the following, reserving the rest for another salad: > 2 bags of mixed baby greens > 2 or 3 thin-sliced pears, dipped in lemon > 2/3 c. pecans, toasted if desired > (Optional) 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
For a delicious “Raspberry Vinaigrette”, steep a pint or more of fresh or frozen raspberries in white vinegar for several weeks. “Brewing” yields a delicious raspberry vinegar with no additives. Substitute 2/3 c. raspberry vinegar for the 1/3 c. white vinegar in above recipe. Omit the poppy seeds.
For “Cranberry Vinaigrette”, add 1 c. cranberries to the sugar/vinegar mix in above recipe; cook until cranberries pop (about five minutes or so). Strain mixture into a blender; add the mustard, salt, and olive oil, blending until smooth. (Omit poppy seeds.)