I was so wrong. See, there's this place in Berkeley called Cafe Intermezzo. Or there was that place, anyways. And they served the best most amazing giant salads ever. Bigger than your head, with mounds of almost fluffy red and green leaf lettuce, the thinnest of sliced cucumbers, brilliantly purple red cabbage, bite-sized cherry tomatos, crunchy crouton discs, half an avocado just plopped on there, kidney and garbanzo beans, bright orange carrot slices, and if you wanted them, sprouts (I never did). Served with a hunk of just-made honey whole-wheat sunflower bread, the "Veggie Delight" was breathtaking before the dressing was added.
|Photo by Micah L|
But then came the Poppy Seed dressing. A little tangy, a little sweet, a lot something I could never quite figure out. It was addicting...dip your bread in it, let the croutons soak some up, always be sure to toss your salad (haha) around a lot to get all the dressing on there. It turned a great salad into something worthy of being on a "top ten meals of your life" list.
Every time I was nearby, I popped into Cafe Intermezzo and ordered a Veggie Delight with Poppy Seed Dressing. Even when I wasn't nearby, I'd more-than-occasionally head over to pick up a salad to go, driving 30 minutes out of my way sometimes and never feeling like it wasn't worth it to have this amazing salad dressing. I'm not kidding, it's that good. None of that grocery store garbage compares. I don't even really LIKE other poppy seed dressings.
|Photo by Henry S|
And then, Intermezzo burned down. A little over a year and a half ago, my favorite restaurant burned down, and with it went the recipe for the best salad dressing ever. Ever since then, I've been trying to figure it out, experimenting with piles of ingredients and tweaking my recipe here and there. And finally, I think I've got it! Try this now. You won't regret it, I promise. In fact, you can come find me and yell at me if you don't like it.
(yes, I know the measurments are funny. My kid stole all my measuring cups except for the 1/5 cup & the 1/2 cup. Sorry.)
Ingredients (makes enough for 3 big-a** salads)
~1 tsp of grated yellow onion (I use a microplane)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
~1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/5 cup red wine vinegar
1/5 cup white sugar
1 tbsp poppy seeds
a blob of mustard
Add all ingredients into a jar or container with a tight lid. Shake it up. Pour over lettuce and other salad-y things. You'll be happy you did. I am, and now I get to have this deliciousness whenever I want.
I'm thankful today for early Christmas gifts, for my sweet and goofy students who made me giant cards of well wishes while I was gone, for the even sweeter but also more serious student who cleaned my room and reorganized my papers for me, for new headbands, and for comfy shoes.