Several days ago I posted a list of food suggestions for a Valentine’s Day party from a hundred-year-old issue of Boston Cooking School Magazine. The magazine included the recipe for one of the suggestions –Valentine Salad–so, I decided to make it for my sweetheart.
Valentine Salad actually was an old-time tomato aspic cut into heart shapes, with hard-boiled egg slices. The aspic is a jellied savory mixture of homemade tomato and other vegetable juices.
The presentation was a bit much with the heart-shaped lettuce and aspic, but the Valentine Salad had a surprisingly nuanced and sophisticated tangy tomato flavor. My husband said it tasted like a Bloody Mary without the alcohol.
Here’ s my adaptation of the original recipe for modern cooks:
Valentine Salad (Tomato Aspic with Hard-Boiled Egg
3 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 medium onion
1 jalapeno pepper (chopped)
3 parsley stems
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (1 packet) gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 hard-boiled egg (sliced)
Romaine lettuce leaves, cut into heart shapes
Combine tomatoes, onion, cloves, parsley, celery, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Reserve the juice.
In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the cold water. Then add to the gelatin mixture to the hot vegetable juice. Pour into a flat pan approximately 6″ X 6″. Refrigerate until firm. Briefly dip bottom of pan in hot water, then slide the jellied mixture onto a plate. Cut part of the jellied mixture into hearts about two inches in diameter. With a smaller cutter, cut the same number of hearts about 3/4 inch in diameter.
To assemble – For each serving, place a lettuce leaf on a plate, top with a large heart. On top of the heart place a egg slice, followed by a small heart. Garnish with small pieces of hard-boiled egg.
If desired serve with mayonnaise.
*The cooked vegetable mixture can used in a different recipe. For example, I served it over rice.
Here’s the original recipe: