CREATIVE RECIPE OF THE DAY - JELLY INSPIRED
Tomato, Basil and Goat Cheese Gelatin Salad
1/2 cup water, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons (one packet) unflavored gelatin powder
2 1/2 cups clear, strained homemade vegetable broth, see notes below the recipe (or 2 vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 1/2 cups water)
3 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
10-12 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup goat cheese (chevre)
A pinch of ground black pepper
A salad dressing of 2 tablespoons olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1.Prepare your gelatin mold(s) by lightly spraying the interior(s) with vegetable oil and then lightly wiping with a paper towel. Set aside. Clear level spaces both in your freezer and your refrigerator large enough to accommodate the mold(s) you have selected.
2.Pour 1/2 cup water into a bowl, sprinkle with the gelatin powder, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes until the gelatin has fully dissolved. In a saucepan, bring the vegetable broth (or bouillon) to a boil and stir in the water/gelatin mix. Remove the pan from the burner and set aside on the countertop until the mixture reaches room temperature.
3.Pour a 1/8-inch layer of the broth/gelatin mixture into the bottom of the gelatin mold(s) and place the mold(s) in the freezer for about five minutes or until the mixture has just jelled.
4.Remove the mold(s) from the freezer, evenly distribute all the halved tomatoes in the gelatin mold(s), and lightly compact them. Pour in sufficient broth/gelatin mix just to cover, and return the mold(s) to the freezer for about ten minutes or until the broth/gelatin mixture has just jelled.
5.Remove the mold(s) from the freezer, evenly distribute all of the sliced basil in the gelatin mold(s) and lightly compact. Pour in sufficient broth/gelatin mix just to cover and return to the freezer for about ten minutes or until the broth/gelatin mix has just jelled.
6.Remove the mold(s) from the freezer. In the container of a food processor or chopper, blend the goat cheese, pepper, and 1/4 cup of the remaining broth/gelatin mix. Pour all of the cheese/gelatin blend into the gelatin mold(s), distributing it evenly, and place the mold(s) in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Just before serving, dip the exterior of the gelatin mold(s) in tepid water for about 30 seconds, invert onto a serving plate, and shake firmly to release the salad from the mold(s). Serves 6 as a side salad with the prepared dressing on the side.