Considered by many Southern hostesses to be the ultimate “party dish,” tomato aspic has been widely served at bridge luncheons and on buffets since the introduction of granulated gelatin more than a century ago. Unfortunately, most of the tomato aspics found today are overly sweet concoctions dependent on canned tomato juice (or V8) and Jell-O, a far cry from this classic, delectable version made with fresh, ripe tomatoes, olives, and tangy seasonings—and no trace of sugar. Since it’s a bore having to wait for the aspic to set in the refrigerator, I strongly suggest you make it a day in advance and chill it overnight.
In a large bowl, press down the tomatoes to extract the juice and produce a wet pulp, pushing and squeezing with your fingers. Place half the pulp in a saucepan.
Pour off about
Add the lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, onion, salt, and Tabasco to the pulp and stir well. Let cool, then chill till the mixture is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
Add the olives and celery and stir till well blended. Scrape the mixture into a shallow baking dish or loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 3 hours or overnight to set completely.
Serve the aspic in slices on lettuce leaves and top each portion with a dollop of mayonnaise.
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