Valentine Salad (Heart-Shaped Tomato Aspic with Hard Boiled Egg)

Valentine Salad 4

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

  • Servings: 2 - 3 servings
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

3 cups diced tomatoes

1/2 medium onion

3 cloves

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

mayonnaise (optional)

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:

Source: Boston Cooking School Magazine (February, 1913)
Source: Boston Cooking School Magazine (February, 1913)


42 thoughts on “Valentine Salad (Heart-Shaped Tomato Aspic with Hard Boiled Egg)

    1. It did turn out quite nice. One of the things I really liked about it was the lovely natural orange-red color of the hearts. No artificial cherry-red dyes here. 🙂

  1. I wondered about this recipe in your last post, so I am glad to see it show up all by itself! I know aspic was common around then, but somehow, the thought of it has never appealed to me–but this is still pretty!

    1. Like you, I knew that aspics were popular back then, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I actually was pleasantly surprised by how it tasted. It wasn’t sweet like modern jellos, but rather had a nice savory tomato taste.

    1. I thought about it, but I then looked out the window and saw all the snow, and decided to instead carefully dry my lettuce on paper towels. 🙂

  2. This dish would definitely make a table look festive. To serve it to my family ,I would have to swipe out the egg and put a little dab of ranch dressing on the heart with a black olive in the center of the dressing.

  3. That it is so different from what we see today is wonderful. I would never have thought to use lettuce for the heart shape.

  4. Oh goodness! Sounds good, but also seems like a lot of work…I may just find a heart shaped bowl and throw in the salad greens and fixings. Surely they make heart shaped bowls somewhere? Since I don’t cook often H will appreciate my effort! 😉 ~Elle

    1. I’m not positive (and readers may need to correct me) but I think that it is a blue-speckled enamel-covered metal pan. I believe that it was made out of the same material as some roasting pans that you still see today.

  5. The ladies in those 100 year old kitchens went to a lot of trouble to please their valentines. Soooo interesting but I will resist the temptation to make this one. 🙂

    1. It’s nice to hear that you enjoy this blog. I think that an aspic can be either a gelatin made with spiced tomato juice, or a gelatin made with meat or fish stock. I also often learn new things when I’m researching posts and from reader’s comments. 🙂

  6. I am going to pass this on to my husband. He has taken to cooking and baking in a big way the last few years, while I have sort of done the opposite.

  7. I’m happy to have discovered your blog. Your aspic is nice…you don’t see them prepared much here but in our travels in Germany and Austria aspics are still very popular and served in some of the top restaurants.

    1. It’s interesting that they are still popular in Europe. We are missing a good food here. If I wasn’t making this for Valentine’s Day, I could see making the aspic, and perhaps molding it and embedding the hard-boiled eggs. Hmm. . . this is starting to almost sound like a different recipe. Maybe I’ll have to give it a try.

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