Lemon Cream is a revelation. A bowl of lemon clouds, tinged with salt and lemon, creamy and light as winter sunshine over the ocean. You might call it a savory whipped cream, but to do so diminishes the mystery. Joshua Mc Fadden, Author of Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, calls it “a light, almost feminine dressing…beautiful on a simple spring lettuce salad [and] other green vegetables.” It is delightful, too, dolloped on a bowl of tomato soup, and it makes a fine dip for fresh veg of all sorts, particularly cucumbers and young carrots. It is lovely with seafood, too.
I first had something like this in a spread of catered dishes that included baba ganoush, flatbreads, lentils, hummus, chimichurri, and sliced veg, as well as blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. With no explanation of what the delightful substance was, I found it a fine companion to all of these things (but not at once!), transitioning effortlessly from savory to sweet pairings. It has never left my mind since that first taste, and I was delighted to find how easy it is to make and use. I might reduce the salt and pepper, and omit the garlic if the lemon cream is to be included in such a diverse spread; otherwise, the allium and a more generous grinding of pepper and salt anchor it firmly to the savory side of the menu.
Let your imagination sail like those pale golden clouds, as you find more use for this simple, surprising dressing.
Smash the garlic well, and drop it into the cream. Allow infusing in the refrigerator for several hours, to impart a gentle garlic flavor to the cream.
Remove the garlic cloves from the cream, and season with a pinch of salt, the lemon zest and a generous grinding of black pepper.
Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk rapidly. As the cream begins to thicken, add the lemon juice and the olive oil.
Keep whisking, until the cream forms soft peaks in the bowl.
Taste and adjust the seasoning-more salt, more pepper, more lemon juice?
Serve fresh, with simple ingredients.
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