These congealed salads store well and unmold easily when the muffin tins in which they are molded are lined with plastic wrap. To line all 12 cups, overlap 2 large sheets of plastic wrap and press it into each well with your fingertips.
In place of the crabmeat, you can substitute 1 1/2 to 2 pounds medium-sized cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp (enough for 3 shrimp per portion).
Make Ahead: The individual gazapacho gelees will set in 1 to 2 hours and can be made 1 to 2 days ahead of time; the dressing may be prepared several days in advance.
- For the vegetable mixture
- 3 small green, yellow and red peppers (1 of each color), seeded, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
- 6 large radishes, stemmed and quatered
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
- 2 stalks celery, cut in 1-inch squares
- 3 scallions, both white and light green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- For the gelee mixture
- 4 tablespoons (4 envelopes) powdered gelatin
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle-flavored hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco brand
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked free of shells
- For the lemon dressing and greens
- 2 cups low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 lemon (grated zest and juice)
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup scallions (green parts only), coarsely chopped
- 24 cups (48 ounces) mesclun salad greens, arugula or shredded radicchio
For the vegetable mixture: Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse just until coarsely chopped. (They should be minced into 1/4-inch pieces.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl, removing any large, unprocessed chunks. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside while preparing gelee mixture.
For the gelee mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the gelatin powder and the water and set aside to soften for 5 minutes.
In a 2-cup container, microwave 1 cup of the tomato juice for 3 minutes on high. Add the hot tomato juice to the softened gelatin and stir until the gelatin powder is dissolved. Add the remaining cup of tomato juice, the lemon juice, chipotle-flavored hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings, mixing to combine well. Add the gelatin mixture to the vegetables, stirring to combine.
To assemble: Line two 12-cup muffin tins with plastic wrap. Divide the crabmeat evenly into the bottoms of 20 of the muffin cups (or use 3 shrimp in each cup), reserving the remaining 4 cups without crabmeat (for guests who may not care for shellfish). Fill the muffin cups with gelee mixture, cover them loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until set.
For the lemon dressing and greens: Combine the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and scallions in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds until smooth and light green. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place the mesclun, arugula or shredded radicchio on individual salad plates. Drizzle some of the lemon dressing over the salad greens. Pop a gazpacho gelee out of each mold and place on top of each serving of salad greens. Drizzle the remaining dressing over each gelee and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Adapted from chef and former restaurateur David Hagedorn.
Tested by Yuki Noguchi.
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