My last piece for Newsweek is up. It’s on savory ice cream. Which is to say, ice cream you eat at the beginning of the meal, not at the end.
Savory ice cream is my favorite “wow” trick for dinner parties, because it looks so fancy but takes minimal effort. Salmon tartare is delicious, but salmon tartare served atop a scoop of avocado-wasabi ice cream suggests that Thomas Keller or Heston Blumenthal might have dropped by your house to help whip up something special. Yet avocado wasabi ice cream is one of the simplest things you’ll ever make: you puree avocado, cream, wasabi, lime, and a bit of sugar in your blender, then toss the result into your ice cream freezer. (You do need an ice cream machine, but these days very serviceable models are available for as little as $55 on Amazon.) And its creamy spiciness is the perfect accompaniment to the tart, fresh flavors of the salmon mixture.
I know: you’re skeptical. That’s why I gathered a group of the toughest critics I could find: my family. My husband doesn’t even like fruit-based ice cream, and my mother and her sister are strongly skeptical of food experiments. I even included a six year old girl. All of them voted yes, with the crowd favorite being a spiced-bacon-maple-and-bourbon combo.
Seriously, if you have an ice cream freezer, you owe it to yourself to try savory ice cream for your next dinner party. It’s a fun experiment, it wows if it works properly–and if it doesn’t, you’ve wasted $5 worth of ingredients and about half an hour. Plus, on hot summer days, there’s nothing more refreshing at the start of a meal than a small scoop of savory, delicious ice cream to cool off your palate.
I’ll be posting recipes tomorrow, for those of you who are interested in giving it a try, but don’t know quite where to start. Avocado-wasabi, Feta-herb, Spicy Maple Bacon, and Carrot-Ginger, coming soon to an ice cream freezer near you.