Monday, April 12, 2010

Bringing Poppies Back

Who uses poppy seeds anymore? We do! They have a faint floral-sesame flavor, and they offer
a crunchy note and a pretty look to these recipes. We tried out some Meyer lemon and poppy seed shortbread cookies and a simple poppy seed dressing in order to resurrect poppy seeds from their mid-80's heyday and welcome them back to the plate.

Meyer Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies
(adapted from the recent Family Circle bake sale for Share Our Strength article)

1 1/4 AP
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c soy margarine or butter
1/3 c raw sugar
1 small egg (discard half the white)
1 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
juice from one Meyer lemon
1 tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First, whisk the dry ingredients. Next, use hand mixer to combine softened butter and raw sugar until it looks creamy. Add egg, zest, and juice and blend on high. Fold in poppy seeds and dry ingredients. Make dough into a roll or patty and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Then roll out dough with a little flour and cut circles with a cup or shapes with those hidden-away cutters you never seem to use. Bake at 350 for 10 min. or until edges are lightly browned.

Poppy Seed Dressing (for two salads)

2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. cornstarch
squeeze of half a lemon
sea salt and crushed pepper

Whisk it up and drizzle it over anything green; we used frisée, shelled peas, grapes, Neal's Yard Shropshire blue cheese (!), and toasted walnuts.


Louvregirl said...

Oh that looks good.

laputain said...

we use poppy seeds quite a lot, but only to top the bread my man makes (and probably only because my mother, who has baked bread all my life, always tops with either sesame of poppy seeds. she makes only loaves in tins, D makes all sorts of stuff, farmhouse things and baguettes and so on, so doesn't always top them).

We had a fantastic cake a while back, I think it was basil, lemon and poppy seed, in a firm sponge- more like a maderia cake, perhaps. *lovely* in any case, and had it come from a friend i'd have asked for the recipe- but it was a surprising store purchase from a chain deli that does a bit of its own baking.

i think I shall try the cookies. Meyer lemon is not a phrase we have here in the UK- i assume that using the nicest unwaxed lemon I can get will do...or is there a particular feel I should be going for? Are they extra sweet or sour or anything like taht?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Sure, any lemon will do -- we try to use organic ones if we're using the peel. Meyer lemons are a mix of lemon + mandarin orange. I liked this article about them:

jd said...

I love it! I was just eating some poppy + thyme crackers this morning and thinking the very same thing (ie: "what's the deal with people ignoring poppy seeds these days?").

I'm glad to see that you're bringing them back - especially by way of a yummy looking shortbread cookie :)

laputain said...

thanks for the explanation- I'd often wondered, as you regularly mention them by name. Glad I asked :o)

Anonymous said...

You could mix a mandarin and a lemon on your own, i guess, to see what all the noise about those Meyers is about! I may try it!


Diary of a Smart Black Woman said...

This salad looks great -especially with the grapes! I love poppy seed dressing. I'll have to give this one a try.