Debbie Dance Uhrig
I’ve been patiently waiting until I stopped making this salad at work, before debuting it for my readers. When I originally wrote it in early 2017 a strawberry dressing was my goal. After much thought and rationalizing, etc. I decided to go with a poppy seed dressing. I have no regrets. The salad has brought me many accolades this spring and I just know you’re going to enjoy making it.
Let’s rewind to Easter 2017. When I served this Easter Sunday I replaced the chicken with a cheese. A feta, asiago or goat cheese would be a nice change out.
The salad can run as a side salad but it also has the gumption to rule as the main entrée. The dressing: If there’s just a couple of you dining consider grilling a boneless skinless chicken breasts. Take half of the dressing (minus the poppy seeds and mayonnaise) and use it as a sauce for the chicken.
Onions give you problems, take a little heat out of the allium family by soaking sliced reds in ice water, for about 30 minutes before serving. Pat the onions dry and place on the salad. Onions fight a variety of diseases and they’re also a great antioxidant.
As July unfolds the nectarines and peaches hit the scene. How about switching the entire salad toppings for sliced peaches, blueberries, walnuts, sugar snap peas, broccoli and red or green onions.
Salad greens: In Branson West we have a Walmart Store. When it comes to salad greens for this salad I actually like the tender greens and baby spinach blend. If I purchase the Marketside label it seems like a great deal of the lettuce is wet and over the hill. Instead I pay $1 more and purchase the organic Marketside label. These greens seem to be much dryer and they last a longer time. Nothing is worse than dropping $5 for a large tub of salad greens and they’re expired in 1-2 days!
Why did I put a tablespoon of mayonnaise into this dressing? Typically I never eat vinegar and oil based dressings. My rationale is the fact that they hit and miss the top of the salad and ‘pool’ in the bottom of the bowl. One of my pet peeves is ‘runny’ salad dressings. If you add a tablespoon of sour cream, yogurt or mayo you’ll be amazed over how much it tightens the dressing. Also I’m of the opinion that every palate likes a different ratio of vinegar, oil and sugar. My assistant, Bonnie, for example, likes her version of this dressing with more vinegar bite. She usually omits the last 2 tablespoons of the dressing sugar.
This salad will bring a refreshing taste to your palate. Something ‘just’ a little different, but yet not too far out of the box. This week finds us traveling over to Stark City, Missouri to enjoy a meal with Uncle Dale and his fiancée, Terry. I’m looking forward to the visit. I’m elated to have next weekend off, something I rarely experience.
Enjoy, Simply Yours, The Covered Dish www.thecovereddish.com
Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad
1 package tender greens/spinach blend
8-12 large strawberries, stemmed & sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, diced (skins on or off)
Slivers of red onion
1-2 chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2-3 teaspoons finely minced onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey mustard
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon mayonnaise of choice
Whisk all the dressing ingredient together with a wire whisk, until well blended.
Should yield approximately 3/4 cup. The dressing will hold up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Assemble main salad ingredients into individual portions, making a nice presentation. Garnish with the dressing or allow guests to do so individually. Yields 6 side salads. The salad can be made in one bowl, however the display isn’t quite as striking.