Crème Fraiche Dressing with Preserved Lemon is a silky, creamy, homemade salad dressing recipe that can be used in many different ways. Don’t have crème fraiche or preserved lemon puree? My variations have you covered while keeping this lucsious dressing recipe keto, low-FODMAP and dreamy good!
This creamy salad dressing is such a versatile recipe that can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade or condiment. It pairs ridiculously well with my Keto BLT Salad with Shredded Kale.
If you’re a fan of silky and creamy salad dressing (I’m raising my hand, here), then this is your recipe! If I don’t have a quart of my Blue Cheese Dressing in the fridge, then I certainly have a pint or so of this dressing as a back-up. I’m not a huge citrus fan, but this light, flavorful sauce has such a bright, umami-rich flavor – I’m hooked.
I don’t always have crème fraiche or preserved lemons around, so I’ve included variations with sour cream and my quick lemon puree that still makes one of the best gourmet dressings that have ever crossed your taste buds.
To make this low-carb and sugar-free dressing, simply whisk together these few ingredients:
- Crème fraiche
- Dijon mustard
- Whole preserved lemon or paste
- Fresh lemon juice
- Apple cider vinegar
That’s it! It doesn’t get any easier.
What is crème fraiche?
It is simply French for ‘fresh cream’ – a cultured cream that is slightly soured using fermentation with healthy bacteria, similar to sour cream and yogurt. Slightly tangy and sour, it is used as an ingredient or condiment in many sauces, dressings and dips. It has a very high fat content (around 30 percent) and can also be used as a topping like whipped cream or simply mixed with pasta.
What is the difference between crème fraiche and sour cream?
Sour cream has a lower fat content and is higher in protein. It’s more sour and will tend to curdle when heat is applied. Crème fraiche has a naturally high fat content and doesn’t curdle or break when exposed to higher temperatures.
If you don’t have crème fraiche (cultured cream) in your fridge or can’t find any at your local grocery, you can either make it yourself at home or simply use sour cream or Mexican crema. Mexican crema is a little thinner and sweeter than cultured cream, but makes a fine substitute.
👩🍳How to make homemade cultured cream
Traditionally, this is made with unpasteurized cream that naturally contains the healthy bacteria necessary for culturing. However, in the US, all dairy is required to be pasteurized, so a starter culture (mainly consisting of healthy Lactococcus bacteria) needs to be added to culture the cream.
Cultured cream directions
Simply add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk to 1 cup heavy cream in a glass mixing bowl (metal bowls may react to the culturing process).
Let stand for 12-24 hours at a warm room temperature, ideally between 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit, until thick and creamy. Refrigerate for about 24 hours before using. Your homemade cultured cream will last about 2 weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
🍋What is preserved lemon paste?
It is a paste (or puree) made from preserved lemons, which are salt-cured and fermented for several weeks or months and develop a complex, salty, savory, umami flavor. A paste is made by pureeing them to a smooth consistency. Read my post about preserved lemons in my ingredient spotlight.
🛒Where to buy
Gourmet food and specialty stores will often carry preserved lemon puree. However, most grocery stores will carry whole preserved lemons which can quickly and easily be pureed into paste or used whole in this recipe with the use of a blender.
If your local grocery store has neither, preserved lemons and paste are available online.
📝Preserved lemon substitutions
While they add a unique flavor to anything they touch, there are a couple of easy substitutions that are still perfect for this recipe:
- Make a quick and easy puree – see my instructions for making a fast stovetop substitute.
- Add fresh lemon juice, zest and salt – Use one teaspoon of lemon zest and the juice of one large lemon.
🥗Is this a low-FODMAP salad dressing?
Yes! All of the ingredients used are low in FODMAPs, providing you use a low-FODMAP mayonnaise. Drench your greens to your heart’s desire!
There are two super easy ways to make this simple dressing:
Using preserved lemon puree
- Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined and the dressing is silky smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Using whole preserved lemon
- Place 1/4 of a whole lemon and all ingredients in a blender (I like to use my Nutribullet for this) and blend until smooth and creamy.
🥡How to store
Store your dreamy dressing in the refrigerator in a tightly lidded container or glass jar. I like to use mason jars.
It’s best to consume within seven days. If you notice the dressing beginning to separate, just give the jar a shake or whisk until homogenous again.
- Add a touch of buttermilk or heavy cream – This is a fairly thick dressing. If you want it a tad more pourable, thin it out a little bit.
- Add herbs and spices – red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper (read more about Aleppo Pepper), black pepper, dill, tarragon, chives or basil.
- If you like a sweet salad dressing, add a teaspoon of your favorite sweetener.
- Add some finely chopped garlic or shallots.
- Substitute the crème fraiche or mayo for Greek yogurt for a tangier flavor.
🍽How to use
- Use it as a vegetable dip
- Marinate salmon or white fish for an hour, then add to a skillet and simmer until cooked through
- It makes the best fruit dip
- Add it to cold pasta salad with your favorite low carb pasta
- Mix with shredded cabbage for a lemony coleslaw
- Drizzle it on steamed or grilled fish or sliced, grilled steak – it makes an amazing dressing for salmon
- It’s perfect with Greek salad, chicken and steak salads or kale salad
- Toss with roasted vegetables
- Sauce up some freshly steamed greens
- Use as a replacement for hollandaise sauce
If you find more uses for this delightfully silky dressing, let me know in the comments, below. I love to hear about your creations!
🙋♀️Crème fraiche FAQ
Yes! It is a high-fat dairy product with a low lactose content of about 3-4%, making it suitable for a low-FODMAP diet in servings up to 2 tablespoons.
Yes. It originated in the dairy producing regions of France. There are different varieties in France that vary from liquid to thick cream.
The low-fat variety is only about 15% butterfat and relies on stabilizers such as starch and xanthan gum for thickness and texture.
Other recipes you might like
- Keto and Low-FODMAP Blue Cheese Dressing
- Basil Truffle Pesto
- Indian Spiced Salmon
- Keto BLT Salad with Shredded Kale
This post contains affiliate links. As an Instacart and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Crème Fraiche Dressing with Preserved Lemon
- ⅔ cup creme fraiche
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon preserved lemon paste (see Notes for option on how to make your own, or ½ of a preserved lemon)
- 1 lemon (large – Juice only)
If using preserved lemon puree
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
If using a preserved lemon
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
SubstitutionsIf you don’t have creme fraiche (cultured cream), you can use sour cream or Mexican crema. You can also substitute Greek yogurt.
- Buttermilk or heavy cream
- Add herbs and spices such as red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper, black pepper, dill, tarragon, chives or basil
- Try a teaspoon of your favorite sweetener such as stevia
- Chopped garlic or shallots
*Net carbs = carbohydrates – fiber
Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools and does not include optional ingredients unless otherwise indicated.
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