Monday, July 6, 2009

Battle of the Poppy Seed Dressings

Its the battle of the Poppy Seed Dressings
I think if I had to take a drug test I might fail because of the large amount of poppy seeds in my system. Over the 4th of July weekend I made Dave & Kim's Famous Berry Salad & Poppy Seed Dressing (which I didn't get around to posting about yet) and tonight I made a Chicken Poppy Seed Salad. So I figured I might as well post the battle royal together.

Dave & Kim's Berry Poppy Seed Salad
Borrowed from Dave & Kim

Please excuse the really bad picture. I made this for a BBQ and didn't have my good camera and didn't think to take another picture once I dressed the salad. And for some reason I cant get the picture to be right side up. So basically the battle is already tainted by bad PR for the Berry Salad.

1 container blueberries
1 large container strawberries sliced
3 romaine heads shredded

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 cup oil

Mix salad. Mix dressing in a seal able container and shake until mixed. Pour on salad

Now for our competitor

borrowed from The Sister's Cafe
Spinach leaves
Romaine leaves
Grilled chicken, sliced (grill with lots of lemon pepper seasoning) **I actually used Rotisserie this time and it was really good**
Red onion, sliced thinly
Crispy bacon, crumbled
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Toasted almonds (or you can sugar the almonds. Put sliced almonds in a pan with lots of granulated sugar (about equal amounts). Cook on medium heat until sugar melts, coating the almonds as they brown.)

The best part... The Dressing:
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tb Maui or Vidalia onion, chopped ** I substituted Shallot because they didn't have either in my store today**
2 cups canola oil ** I used 1/2 canola 1/2 EVOO because I ran out of Canola**
3 Tb poppy seeds

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a blender, then slowly add the oil, blending until thick. Stir in poppy seeds. Toss all ingredients together with generous amount of dressing before serving.
*This makes a lot of dressing! If you need a really big salad for a party then start with a large bunch of spinach, large head of romaine, 4 chicken breasts, 1 lb bacon, etc. I rarely make a salad that big so that is why there are no "amounts". So have fun with it - you're going to love it!
The dressing before the poppy seeds--What a cool color. Jackson thought I was making smoothies

Now it looks like its dirty
Ok so there is a clear winner in our house and the Chicken Poppy Seed Salad TAKES IT!
Thoughts on the Berry Poppy Seed Salad---
I do love the Berry Poppy Seed Salad as well, but for me it is a great lunch salad and a side dish. It is absolutely perfect to bring to someones house because it so easy to throw together. Another thing the Berry Poppy Dressing has going for it, is its a lot lighter then the Chicken Poppy Salad Dressing. Although I think it only probably makes 1/3 as much so maybe all things are equal.
Thoughts on the Chicken Poppy Seed Salad
It tasted like something you find in a restaurant, not on my kitchen table. Doug (aka the Chief Taste Tester) said this was the best salad we've had and I asked "in this house or ever" and he said "EVER". That should be all you need to know because he has eaten his fair share of salads and for this one to be the best EVER---that's huge. I feel badly that I had to change a few things because since I have never made it before I wanted to follow the recipes exactly. That was my intention but my pantry had other ideas. I also felt like using Rotisserie Chicken tonight because I like my salads to be as quick and easy as possible and so I skipped the grilling of the chicken. But let me tell you, make sure you don't skip out on sugar coating the sliced almonds. It was quick & easy and packed a giant flavor punch. Who knew it was so easy to do.
The only thing I need to work on is 1/2ing the dressing recipe. It made A LOT of dressing and since there is only 2 of us the salad wasn't very big and I dumped a lot of it out and still have a whole salad shaker full.
So for all the Poppy Seed Salad fans, try both and let me know which you like better.....


  1. Haha! What a fun post! Loved it. I am thrilled that you enjoyed The Sisters' Cafe chicken poppyseed salad. It was fun to hear from you on our site today. I hope we hear from you again on what other dishes you enjoy! Happy Cooking!
    -Erin (one of the sisters)

  2. Thanks for the comment on our blog. I have to agree this is my favorite salad too! I make it for baby showers, parties etc and it is always a hit. I am glad you liked it too. You have a great site--that berry salad above looks amazing!