Buttermilk Poppy Seed Dressing

Buttermilk Poppy Seed Dressing
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Salad with buttermilk poppy seed dressing

As you saw last Wednesday, our CSA share included two Armenian cucumbers and a bunch of arugula. With the temperatures climbing, the arugula is starting to get a bit more peppery. Somewhat like watercress, and, occasionally, with even more of a bite, which can make it harder to use in salads or fresh in other recipes, such as arugula pesto. One way to help reduce that bite is to combine it with dairy, which is what we had in mind with this dressing.

As with all dressings, Buttermilk Poppy Seed basically involves measuring out the ingredients and whisking everything together. Done. Just watch how fast and easy it is to scratch this up.

This dressing recipe isn’t based on much of anything other than some thought about what flavors might work well together, so we think you could call it a scratchin’ original. Since we weren’t sure how this would turn out, we only made a small amount.

Makes 1/3 cup

Buttermilk Poppy Seed Dressing

Buttermilk Poppy Seed Dressing


  • 2 Tbs buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs sour cream
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Abbreviated Instructions

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.

Drizzle over salad.


Ingredient discussion:

Measure out everything into a small bowl or measuring cup, and whisk it all together.

Buy local honey. We’ve heard that it might help with allergies; we’re not sure about that, but supporting the hardest-working insect on the planet right in your own neighborhood is the right thing to do. Besides, commercial “honey” really isn’t honey. We always make our own buttermilk, and often make our own sour cream (this time we used store-bought which is far sharper-tasting than scratched, much to our regret). For poppy seeds, you can get them for great prices at Penzey’s spices — feel free to tell them we sent you. They’ll give you a blank stare in return.

Procedure in detail:

buttermilk poppy seed dressing
That’s it. Why buy dressings when they’re so easy to make?

Whisk everything. As we mentioned above, this, like almost all salad dressings, is super-simple. We measured everything into a measuring cup so we would have a pour spout, and whisked. That’s it.



Our lunch salad: lots of cucumber and arugula, with some roasted red pepper and buttermilk poppy seed dressing.

Drizzle. Since ours was in a measuring cup, we could just pour it over our salad of Armenian cucumbers, arugula, and roasted red peppers.

We rarely make creamy-style dressings, sticking instead with the vinaigrette-style, which we find a bit cleaner-tasting and not as heavy, so it is kind of hard for us to say just how this turned out. We’ll give it three stars and call it a day. We will say that it pretty much eliminated the spicy bite of the arugula, which is what we wanted.

Worth the trouble?

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