Tomato Aspic. Photo © Fredrika Stjärne
© Fredrika Stjärne

Tomato Aspic

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN

Chilled jellied salads were popular on hot days in '60s-era Mississippi, and they were often a centerpiece at ladies' luncheons. This tomato aspic is like a wobbly take on a Virgin Mary.

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  1. 24 ounces canned tomato juice
  2. 2 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  3. 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  4. 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  5. 1/2 tablespoon pickling spices, ground
  6. 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  7. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  8. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  9. Vegetable oil, for brushing
  10. 1/2 small onion, minced
  11. 1/2 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  12. 2 small celery ribs, finely chopped
  13. Sliced hard-boiled eggs and steamed asparagus, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the tomato juice with the gelatin; let stand for 5 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the remaining tomato juice with the sugar, salt, pickling spices, hot sauce, lemon zest and lemon juice and heat just until warm. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until it dissolves completely. Return the mixture to the bowl and refrigerate until cold but not set, about 1 hour.
  2. Lightly oil eight 1/2-cup ramekins. Stir the onion, pepper and celery into the tomato aspic and spoon it into the ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled and set.
  3. Unmold the aspics onto plates and serve with sliced eggs and asparagus.