Herb-Scented Thickened Cream for Salads

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    1 cup

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Several kinds of herbs can be infused and used to flavor heavy cream or crème fraîche. The herbs are first crushed with a mortar and pestle or finely chopped with lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar. The cream is then whisked into the infusion. If regular heavy cream is used, it will thicken after a few minutes.

Herb-scented cream can be lightly spooned over cold fish and meats, but it is most often used as a sauce for salads. When flavored with mint or dill, it can be served with sliced cucumbers that have been seeded, salted, and drained to remove excess water. When flavored with freshly chopped cilantro and Tabasco, it makes an excellent dressing for a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled peppers, onions, garlic, and fennel. Or it can be used as a dressing for a simple green salad.


fresh herb leaves (see note) 1 to 2 tbsp 15 to 30 ml
coarse salt ½ to 1 tsp 3 to 5 ml
lemon or lime juice, wine vinegar, or verjuice 2 tbsp 30 ml
heavy cream 1 cup 250 ml


  1. Combine the herb leaves and coarse salt in a mortar or wooden bowl. Grind the herbs with the salt (the salt helps work the mixture into a purée) using a pestle or the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice. Continue stirring until the salt dissolves. Stir in the cream.
  3. Let the mixture rest for 5 to 10 minutes in the refrigerator, until the cream thickens.