Test Kitchen - Poppy Seed Peppercorn Salad Dressing

The first thing that usually jumps to people's minds when you talk about poppy seeds is some kind of pastry. Well, that or the fact that it is an opiate but that's not the point of this post. Wait no, I take that back - that part is relevant. Don't take a drug test right after having this salad dressing lest you want to test positive for something and look like a heroin addict. Practice safe eating! Anyhow, I have been liking poppy seed dressings lately so when this became our Test Kitchen ingredient, I thought I ought to go in that direction. Who needs fattening pound cake when you can have a creamy, smooth dressing over some fresh greens? The recipe's simple but the taste is complex. Enjoy making this one, folks!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 1 cup dressing)

  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt, whole fat
  • 1/2 tsp cracked rainbow peppercorns (black peppercorns okay)
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsps garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
  • 1/4 tsp lime sea salt (unflavored sea salt okay)

Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
The neatest thing about making salad dressing is how easy the steps are. Crack your 1/2 tsp of peppercorns, rainbow or black (I used rainbow for a milder flavor), and minced both garlic and chives but keep separate. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, peppercorn, poppy seed, and garlic.

Step 3: Finishing
Whisk in olive oil slowly until dressing emulsifies. Then add in chives and salt. Fully incorporate together and then enjoy over your salad greens! I used lime sea salt to give a little citrus flavor.

The next Test Kitchen ingredient: lavender
"It is grown as a condiment and used in salads and dressings. Flowers yield abundant nectar from which bees make a high-quality honey. Flowers can be candied and are sometimes used as cake decorations. Lavender flavours baked goods and desserts (it pairs especially well with chocolate), and is also used to make "lavender sugar". Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black, green, or herbal teas. Lavender lends a floral and slightly sweet flavour to most dishes." [Wikipedia]

Well to be honest, I've used lavender once before but only when it was already combined with something - sugar. The lavender sugar I used was to make some divine shortbread cookies but aside from that, I've never worked with this lovely flower before despite adoring it obsessively when I see it on menus. What do you think I should do with it? I'm open to your ideas!

Photography by Duc Duong.