Jell-O or gelatin salads were often called congealed salads at Southern tables and were fixtures at big Sunday suppers. Atlanta chef Linton Hopkins, an eighth-generation Georgian, recalls their importance during his own childhood. 

"Congealed salads were a big part of our family buffets," says Hopkins, owner and chef at Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Gastropub. "Grated carrot was a classic as was the ubiquitous tomato aspic."

Hopkins created a modern version of his childhood salad using Coca-Cola as a sweetener along with fresh mayonnaise, pickled horseradish and Vidalia onions.


  • 3 Cup canned tomato juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon pickled horseradish
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 Cup Coca-Cola
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup Vidalia onion, minced
  • 1/4 Cup green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 Cup celery ribs, minced
  • 4 Ounce Vegetable oil for lining eight 4-oz. ramekins


  • Total Time: 3 hr 2 min
  • Prep Time: 2 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hr
  1. In bowl, combine 1 cup tomato juice, lemon zest, Worcestershire, horseradish, salt and hot sauce with gelatin, let stand for 2 minutes. Add the remaining tomato juice, reduced Coca-Cola and lemon juice to a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook just until warm. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until it dissolves completely. Return the mixture to the bowl and refrigerate until cold, but not set, about 1 hour. (This will help distribute the vegetables throughout the aspic once they are added). Lightly oil the ramekins. Stir the onion, pepper, and celery into the chilled, but not set, aspic and spoon it into the ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled and set completely. Unmold the aspics on to plates and serve with your choice of garniture.

Garniture Ideas

  •          Fresh mayonnaise
  •          Hard-boiled eggs, grated
  •          Shell pea salad
  •          Pickled shrimp
  •          Dressed butter lettuces
  •          Marinated cucumbers