Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tomato Aspic Take 1

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...

I mentioned last week about playing around with aspics.  In the mid-20th century, one of the more popular aspics was a tomato aspic.  In fact, if you ask someone if they've ever heard of aspic, the tomato based form might be the one they're most familiar with.

I tried playing around with various tomato aspics.  I found them to be similar to gazpacho in taste - a cold tomato base.  Of the ones I tried, the most basic, made with gelatin and tomato juice, was also the least appetizing.  The one that won us over was this pretty little number, studded with vegetables.  Which perhaps makes it even more like a gazpacho.

The cool refreshing flavor makes it a nice treat for a summer day, and the vibrant red and green hue make it seem fitting for Christmas.  Even more so when you slice it open to reveal the treasures inside.

What aspic will our heroine pull from the kitchen next?
How many varieties of tomato aspic can there possibly be?
Why doesn't she just stick to jello?

Stay tuned to our next episode for the answer to these and all your other pressing questions.

Tomato Aspic with Vegetables (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
1 lb 12 oz can of tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1 onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
6 basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 envelope gelatin
1/3 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cups finely diced raw vegetables
  1. Simmer the tomatoes, sugar, onion, bay leaves, basil, salt, and pepper 15 minutes.
  2. Soak the gelatin in the beef broth plus 2 Tbsp water.
  3. Strain the tomatoes.  Mix the gelatin into the hot liquid until thoroughly dissolved.
  4. Fill the bottom 1/2 inch of a 1 quart bowl with the liquid.  Chill until just set.
  5. Distribute the vegetables over the surface and add remaining liquid.  Chill until completely set.


  1. Don't stick to jello and keep on experimenting!

  2. This looks like a very interesting and fun dish! Would love to try it.

  3. You are one brave girl with all these aspics. ;)

  4. I am waiting for the next episode. I can imagine this on a hot day, sitting in a garden, relaxing.

  5. Maybe I can convince my family that we need to revive the Christmas spirit if I serve them this...and then maybe they'll be in such good moods, they'll actually eat their veggies!