At its core, whipped cream is just that: cream, whipped. A spoonful of sugar adds a touch of sweetness. Greek yogurt gives it tang. Chocolate makes it chocolate. Whipped cream is as happy atop a warm piece of pie as it is on a hot fudge sundae—or in risotto. Yes, risotto. Because whipped cream's not just sweet—it can go savory, too.
Just ask Thomas Keller—or, rather, cook risotto like him (see recipe below). Take some heavy cream, whip it into soft peaks, and fold it into risotto for the creamiest-yet-lightest texture you ever did taste. Leeks, Parmesan, and chives push the dish from Italian standby to standout.
And a little heavy cream goes a long way. You'll have quite a bit of the carton left after risotto-making, so whether it's on top of soup or in crepes, here are 10 more ways that savory whipped cream beats sweet.
1. Make a salt and pepper version and use it to top roasted, steamed, braised, or blanched vegetables. Try smoked or flavored salts, too.
2. Add a dash of chili powder and a bit of minced chives and dollop on grits.
5. Fold into mashed potatoes to make them super pillowy.
6. Spike with citrus zest (lemon! orange!) and serve with crab or shrimp cakes.
7. Add finely grated Parmesan cheese and top off lemony pasta, like this one with thyme, mushrooms, and garlic.
8. Add herbs, lemon zest, and capers to whipped cream and serve with smoked salmon and crackers.
9. Savory waffles or pancakes + savory whipped cream = breakfast for dinner.
10. Add herbs or cheese and use to fill or top crepes.
4 to 5 cups vegetable stock
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 small leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 cup carnaroli rice
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Kosher salt, to taste
Minced chives, for garnish
Photos by James Ransom, Mark Weinberg, and Caroline Wright (crepes)