Earlier this summer our neighbor Andrea gave us a bottle of a creamy poppy seed salad dressing that she had made. Jerri and I thought it was delicious, and we discussed how to make one as good. We thought that Andrea had started with some kind of cooked base to give it the creamy texture that made it so lovely on our salads.
A few days later, when I was dropping off a sample of something I had cooked, I thanked her for the dressing. I told her that we enjoyed it very much and asked for the recipe. When I remarked about how cooked dressings are so velvety, she said, “It’s not cooked. You just throw everything in the blender to emulsify the oil and vinegar. I found the recipe a long time ago on the web.”
It’s just as easy as she says. Here is what you do.
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. onion juice or 2 tsp. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 T poppy seeds
Put the vinegar, onion juice (or chopped onion), sugar, mustard and salt in the blender container. Blend the ingredients for twenty to thirty seconds on medium speed to make a smooth liquid. Increase the blender speed to high, and add the oil slowly to make a thick dressing. Turn off the blender and stir in the poppy seeds.
Transfer the finished dressing to serving-size bottles or jars and refrigerate.
NOTES: The recipe makes about one and three quarters cups of dressing. It goes well with both green and fruit salads. Though it tastes quite sweet, two tablespoons contain fewer than twelve grams of carbohydrates.
In 1971 food was more important than cookbooks in the Rang family. Fortunately we received two or three good ones as wedding presents, and Jerri’s trusty Dinner for Two Cook Book was still usable, even though we had a third mouth to feed by that time.
Maybe it was just the excitement of having some new recipes, but whatever the reason, we still treasure one of the cookbooks we acquired around that time. Carol Truax’s The Art of Salad Making was half of a FREE “2 IN 1” Cookbook given away by a cigarette company which explains why we could afford it.
Older folks may remember these cookbooks: At first glance they seemed to be an ordinary paperback book. However, if you tipped them upside down, you had another book, in our case The Art of Barbecue and Outdoor Cooking by the Tested Recipe Institute. I never got very excited about the recipes in that book, though the “Filled Bologna Roll” stuffed with pickle relish and cheddar cheese and roasted on a spit would have been within our means.
Inside the cover of The Art of Salad Making Jerri has written “Blue Cheese Dr p. 189.” and on that page below the recipe is a single word: “Good!” We still agree with her judgment from many years ago. This recipe uses sour cream instead of mayonnaise, so the dressing has a refreshing light flavor, less fat and fewer calories.
1 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. minced onion
1/4 cup blue cheese
Mix the first four ingredients together in a small bowl. Crumble the blue cheese and stir it into the sour cream. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
NOTES: You can use any variety of blue cheese. Gorgonzola works well. Resist the temptation to thin this dressing as it may then turn watery in a day or so. Even if it does, the dressing still tastes perfectly fine.