I’m ready for the holidays. I haven’t done any prep, besides my DIY Nut Butters, but I’m in the holiday spirit. I’m blaming Starbucks with their red cups and seasonal music, but I’m not mad about it! Thinking of Thanksgiving dinner is bringing me so much joy. While most of the dinner dishes are set, there are a few things that allow for inspiration and creativity – like appetizers!
I’ve been debating about what I want to make. I think I’m gonna make poppy seed salad dressing (a family favorite) mixed with very finely chopped kale, fresh fruits, and a deliciously, light pie shell recipe for an unexpectedly addictive pomegranate kale salad appetizer. And the colors are so vibrant and visually appealing that I’m sure everyone will be reaching for seconds!
Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing
My cousin introduced us to this recipe a few years ago. We were all staying at a house in Idaho for the annual family trip and she was in charge of the salad. She made this sweet poppy seed dressing and my mom and I are now OBSESSED. She sent us the recipe and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s actually fairly straightforward but so, so delicious. As such a sweet dressing, it’s delectable with chopped kale which has a strong, earthy flavor.
These mini salad appetizers are a fun, sneaky way to get everyone to eat some veggies and they’re bite-sized, which I find nobody can resist. How else are we supposed to get some of those stubborn family members to eat kale salad and pomegranate perils? Ok, maybe there’s another way, or just maybe it isn’t that important, but I think I disagree and so will keep fighting to get them to eat this deliciousness. If it only takes “mini” recipes and a sweet poppy seed salad dressing, then I’m all in!
SWEET POPPY SEED DRESSING + KALE SALAD CUPS
This recipe actually has a lot of little parts that you can use however you like. First is the super delicious sweet poppy seed salad dressing. I love it on any kale salad, but it's good on any salad at all! The next is the delicious kale salad that's so perfect around the holidays. Lastly, is the idea of serving mini salad cups as an appetizer to offer some veggies before the main course!
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening cubed
- 2-4 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon half and half
poppy seed dressing + salad
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dried onion
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 2 cups finely chopped kale packed
- optional toppings: pomegranate seed fresh oranges
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Add in cubed shortening and mix until ingredients resemble flaky powder. Add in two tablespoons cold water. Add in remaining water one teaspoon at a time until dough forms ball. Flatten dough with hands into a 6-inch disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for fifteen minutes.
- Meanwhile, flour a clean, flat surface to roll out dough.
- Combine egg and cream in small bowl. Set aside.
- Remove dough from freezer and plastic wrap. Roll dough very thin (approximately 1/8 inch). Cut dough into roughly 3-inch diameter circles with biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Press dough circles into mini muffin tin, using fingers to cover bottom and walls. Give one firm press with thumb to bottom of each cup to ensure thinness. Brush egg + cream mixture on shells.
- Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients. It's easiest to shake ingredients together in a small jar with tight lid. Combine with kale. Salad can be made ahead of time.
- Fill each cup with kale salad. Top with orange segments and pomegranate seeds.