Belle Meade Frozen Tomato

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    5 to 10

    servings

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Created at the exclusive Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville, this has to be the most exotic Southern salad in the history of the Confederacy—and one of the most mysteriously delicious. I first tasted the salad a few years ago when my mother and I were entertained at the club, but it was not till Julia Reed, my food-obsessed Mississippian friend and fellow author, persuaded an intrepid pal of hers to march into the clubhouse kitchen and ask the chef himself for the sacred recipe, that any of us learned just how to make the unusual dish. This is one recipe I’d never dream of tampering with, and I suggest you follow my example. At the club, they serve the salad with distinctive fried hot water corncakes, but since neither Julia nor I nor anybody else would dare try to replicate these tricky wonders, I settle for my more ordinary but very good Hot-Water Cornbread. (Note: if you don’t add a little red food coloring to the mixture, the salad will be pale pink.)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 3 cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup crushed pineapple
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • Red food coloring
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves

Method

In a blender, combine 2 cups of the tomato juice, 1 cup of the mayonnaise, the onion, pineapple, cream cheese, cottage cheese, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, blend till smooth, and scrape into a bowl. In the blender, combine the remaining tomato juice and mayonnaise and blend till smooth, adding enough food coloring to make the mixture the color of a very ripe tomato. Add this mixture to the mixture in the bowl and whisk till well blended and smooth. Season with salt and pepper and more Tabasco if desired. Scrape the mixture into a large, 2-inch-deep baking dish and freeze.

To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on salad plates, place 1 or 2 scoops of frozen tomato on top, and garnish each scoop with a dollop of mayonnaise.