I’ve been in a bit of a salad dressing rut. As much I love my tried and true balsamic vinaigrette and super simple drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar, I’ve been craving something different for my salads. I brought home a huge box of baby spinach last week with the intent of switching up my green smoothies from my usual kale (a girl’s gotta have some variety!). Soon I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to consume the entire box in smoothie form before it went bad, and the need for spinach salads was born. I usually only eat spinach salads in restaurants (for no good reason other than I’m a creature of habit), but upon making one, I decided that the tender leaves needed a dressing all their own.
I was reminded of an absolutely delicious poppyseed dressing that my aunt used to make and bring to every Christmas Day dinner when I was growing up. She mixed it with pears, oranges, cheese and romaine lettuce, but I was in love with that dressing. Sweet, but not cloying, and thick enough to lightly coat each salad ingredient. Yum! I decided to recreate it.
Upon doing some research, I found that many recipes included mayonnaise or some yogurt to thicken and provide a creaminess. I’m no stranger to yogurt-based dressings, but I wanted to keep this dressing lighter and more acidic so it wouldn’t overwhelm the spinach. I think we have a winner! This is thinner and lighter than you’d usually expect from poppyseed dressing, but that unmistakable sweet flavor is there. I used a blend of red wine and regular ol’ white vinegar for this, but you can definitely use white wine or champagne vinegar in place of the white.
This is perfect over tender baby spinach. Look out for my favorite way to use it in the next post!
A sneak peek of the salad!
vegan poppyseed dressing.
adapted from culinaryhill.com.
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1.5 teaspoons poppyseeds
1 tablespoon sweet onion, grated (or approximately 1/2 inch piece tossed in whole)
Combine everything but oil in a blender or food processor. With the blender on low/medium, remove the top of the blender and slowly stream in the oil until well combined.
Transfer dressing to a jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible**