What’s For Dinner?
Tomato Aspic With Artichokes
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
Chef Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia, with assistance from Quinones chef de cuisine David “Andy” Carson, followed this recipe to the letter — almost. They used their own homemade tomato juice, made with an array of heirloom tomatoes, and flavored with fresh herbs, rather than dried. They also substituted gelatin sheets (mostly available to consumers through online sources) and their homemade mayonnaise for commercial. And while they used canned artichokes for the test, in the restaurant they would substitute a fresh, seasonal vegetable, or skip it. Either way, it makes an elegant and light starter to a meal.
Hands on time: 15 minutes Total time: 6 hours Serves: 18 muffin-cup size servings or 12 ramekin-size servings
3 (0.25-ounce) packets unflavored gelatin
6 cups tomato juice, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 clove crushed garlic
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 (9-ounce) can artichoke quarters, drained (or 9 ounces frozen artichokes, defrosted), each cut in half
4 to 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 ounce black caviar
In a saucepan, simmer the remaining 5 cups tomato juice, lemon juice, onion, garlic, dill weed, salt, basil, oregano and bay leaf for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl or large measuring cup. Add the softened gelatin and stir to combine. Let cool 10 minutes. Divide the artichoke hearts among the prepared molds. Cover with the tomato mixture and chill for 4 hours.
To serve, unmold the aspics. Top each with 1 teaspoon mayonnaise and small dollop of caviar.