While aspics date back to the middle ages, with a detailed recipe of aspic being written in 1375, in the U.S. aspics were all the rage in the 1950’s. Here in the south, we cling to such throw-back recipes. You know the ones! The Lord-save-us-from-canned-onion-rings-and-cream of mushroom soup-Green-Bean-Casserole? And, those oh-no-it’s-not-really-mini-marshmallows-in-green-jello salads that Aunt Gertie-Ann insists on bringing to every family gathering? Yes. Those.
In the south, these tend to be staples; they are the wallpaper glue that holds a holiday meal together…not only for those who love them, but for those who love to snark about them.
Tomato Aspic is one of those dishes.
As a child, tomato aspic was one of the dishes served at holidays which was to be avoided at all costs. Those who know me well will testify, I call ’em like I see ’em…and, I’ll admit, it’s an acquired taste. Somehow though, at some point, I fell in love with the aspic. I longed for holidays when I could pull out the tattered card from my recipe box and make tomato aspic. Now, as a matter of fact, I prefer that people not want to try it as that leaves more for my greedy little pie hole!
I like to think of tomato aspic as a congealed bloody mary; so, what’s not to love?
Recently, and perhaps as my age has advanced and I figure I can do whatever the hell I want, I’ve taken to making tomato aspic often; NOT just on holidays. Who made that rule anyway? That certain things were ONLY for holidays? Heh…forget that! There is something so amazingly refreshing about this savory, filled with crunchy vegetables, jellied salad. It’s perfect for any ol’ time!
- 4 cups tomato juice
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- 5 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2½ cups green pepper, diced
- 2½ cups celery, diced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 4 packages Knox Unflavored Gelatin
- ⅔ cups water
- Place first seven ingredients into heavy sauce pan.
- Heat to ALMOST a boil.
- Remove from heat.
- Dissolve gelatin in water and stir into the contents of the sauce pan.
- Pour into a bowl or a mold that has been sprayed with Pam.
- Refrigerate until set. Overnight is best.
When un-molding the aspic, let it sit out of the refrigerator for a few minutes. Invert a plate on the top of the mold and flip the whole kit and kaboodle over. Oh! AND! A dollop of Duke’s mayonnaise on the top? Well, you might just want to consider that as a garnish.