One year Barnaby's mother Mandy made a tomato aspic that was the yummiest thing ever. She served it with Thanksgiving dinner at her home in Palm Springs. We ate outside and the aspic was a perfect side salad to have on a warm evening (it would be great on a cool eve too, for that matter!).
The nice thing about aspic is that it's quick and easy to prepare, you can make it in advance so you're not freaking out at the last minute, and no one ever expects to be served this tasty retro dish.
2 cups vegetable juice or Bloody Mary mix, cold and divided
2 1/2 cups vegetable juice or Bloody Mary mix, heated until hot
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place 1-1/2 cups of cold vegetable juice in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes so the gelatin softens.
Add 2-1/2 cups of vegetable juice to saucepan and heat until hot; remove from heat. Add 1-1/2 cups of tomato/gelatin mixture. Continue heating on medium heat setting and stir mixture until the gelatin dissolves into the juice (about 5 minutes). Pour in the remaining 1 cup of cold juice and lemon juice.
Pour into a bowl, mold or individual cups, and chill until firm.
Excellent served with avocado and a dollop of mayo.
Note: Trader Joe's has a great Bloody Mary mix that makes a wonderful, slightly spicy aspic. Sometimes I will add diced onions, celery, and olive to the mold in order to give the aspic texture.