Savory Whipped Cream Can Elevate Almost Any Dish

Rich heavy cream elevates our cooking in so many ways, from smoothing out blended soups to bringing creaminess to pasta sauces such as alfredo to enriching pan sauces such as green peppercorn — and that's just the tip of the iceberg. A cold pint of whipping cream is essential to making everything from penne alla vodka to eggy quiche to scalloped potatoes, but of course, when most of us see a pint, we immediately think of whipped cream.

Fluffy, ethereal, just barely sweetened whipped cream offers the finishing touch to so many of our favorite desserts, from ice cream sundaes to slices of fruit pie to cool cups of chocolate mousse. But would you ever think to pile whipped cream atop savory foods? We sure would — sans the sugar, of course. Savory whipped cream flavored with ingredients such as roasted garlic, blue cheese, and fresh herbs can be the perfect addition to foods as varied as grilled meats, baked potatoes, and sweet corn soup.

Top your favorite savory foods with a dollop of savory whipped cream

When staring down a container of cream, you're likely to think first of dessert and who could blame you? Pillowy whipped cream goes so well with cakes, pies, and custards that it's a natural conclusion. But the next time you have some heavy cream on hand, you should consider taking it in a savory direction.

Whipped cream can be flavored with savory ingredients and piled on top of a wide range of foods, bringing all its richness to lunch and dinner, instead. Love salmon filets? The New York Times suggests topping grilled, seared, or poached fish with cream whipped with mustard, lemon zest, and cayenne. Fancy a deep bowl of summery corn chowder? Try flavoring whipped cream with crème fraîche, grated ginger, and lime zest and heaping it atop your soup per Food52. If you're sick of plain old sour cream on your baked potato, you could roast some garlic and gently fold the paste into airy whipped cream as a topper instead (via Dairy Farmers of Canada).

Once you start to explore the possibilities for savory whipped cream, you'll realize you can flavor it with basically anything you like, from grated Parmesan to spicy horseradish to drained capers. Whether used to top grilled meat, as a dip for raw or roasted vegetables, or to crown soups and stews, savory whipped cream just might be the condiment your kitchen is crying out for.