Aside from being so delicious, this simple salad makes such a beautiful presentation, people ask for it wherever I go. My Mom has been making it for years, so I have no idea where it originated. I could have added some mozzarella and toasted pine nuts, or some arugula or something to make it "my own," but we love it so much as it is, I never bothered. If I ever find out where it originated, I'd be happy to to give thanks and refer everyone there in hopes of finding other gems, but for now, we'll have to content ourselves with this beauty.
When I first moved to NY and started sharing meals with my sister and her family, we would serve salads before the main dish, but her sons would scarf down so much of this salad, they wouldn't want their dinner, so we had to stop doing that. It's one of a handful of things her boys always ask for, so you know it's good. Young people looking for something healthy, especially boys, is always very heart warming. :)
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c milk
2 T lemon juice
2 T poppy seeds
You can make this salad in a bowl, of course, but it looks so pretty on a platter if you have one handy, I always try to serve it that way. I'll wash and tear the lettuce, slice the berries and onions, then layer them in the platter; a layer of lettuce topped with some of the onion and berries, then repeat, so all of the strawberries aren't just on top.
For the dressing, just whisk everything together. Depending on how many servings of salad I'm putting together, there is usually more dressing than I need, so I'll pour about half over the salad and have the container handy in case anyone wants more. You just don't want it to get soggy.