The aspic's bright color and glassy sheen will make a radiant addition to your table. Serve it topped with our Chiffonade Dressing.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Core tomatoes; coarsely chop.Working in batches, transfer to a food processor or food mill. Process to a rough puree.

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  • Rinse two 24-inch square pieces of cheesecloth.Wring out cheesecloth; layer pieces in a large glass bowl. Pour puree into cheesecloth; gather up ends, and cinch with kitchen twine. Tie ends of cloth together to make a loop. Hang sack from a cupboard door, placing bowl directly underneath to collect juices.

  • Let drain at least 1 hour; liquid will be pale. Transfer it to a large glass measuring cup, and set aside.

  • Squeeze bundle over emptied bowl to extract remaining liquid; pour into another measuring cup. You should have about 4 cups dark-red tomato juice; if needed, add enough reserved pale liquid to make 4 cups. Pass juice through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard pale liquid.

  • Place 1 cup tomato juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid; let soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan; stir over very low heat until gelatin dissolves. Stir in some of the juice to lower the temperature of the gelatin mixture, then add remaining juice and salt.

  • Pour mixture into a 9-by-4 3/4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until jelled, at least 1 hour. To unmold: Slide a knife around inside edge of pan.Wrap loaf pan in a hot towel, and invert onto a serving platter. Garnish with basil sprigs.

Cook's Notes

Aspic can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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