Pro Tip: When promising an entire week Vintage Victuals posts, be sure to clear some space in your refrigerator. Or have more than one person to feed. I neglected to do this and had already set the water to boiling for today’s planned delight when I realized that there was no way it would fit in the fridge until I eat my way through all of the grapes and cherries (this has been a delicious cherry season) and finish (or sadly toss) the aging shepherd’s pie leftovers.
Today, you get something I wouldn’t make unless under significant duress. And I can’t imagine what sort of duress would require a lemon-lime-tuna gelatin mold.
I will take a moment here to point out that there is nothing odd about lemon and/or lime juice squeezed over tuna. It’s the SUGAR in the gelatin mix that makes this so very wrong. Back in the 1960s, Jell-O brand gelatin produced unsweetened salad flavors—Celery, Mixed Vegetable, Seasoned Tomato, Italian Salad—specifically for dishes like this. HOWEVER, this recipe, although printed in a 1962 book that includes salad-flavored recipes, does not suggest one of those.
Ring Around the Tuna
A beautiful jewel-like entree salad for your luncheon or buffet table.
1 pkg (3 oz.) Jell-O Lime or Lemon-Lime Gelatin
¼ tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
¾ cup cold water
2 Tbs vinegar
2 tsp grated onion
½ cup diced cucumber
½ cup diced celery*
2 Tbs chopped pimiento*
2 Tbs sliced stuffed olives
1 can (7 oz.) tuna, drained and flaked
Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add cold water, vinegar, and onion. Chill until very thick. Stir in remaining ingredients, Pour into individual ring molds or a 1-quart ring mold. Chill until firm. Unmold on crisp salad greens. If desired, serve with additional tuna and top salads with mayonnaise. Makes 3⅔ cups, or about 4 entree servings.
*Or reduce celery to ¼ cup and substitute ½ cup chopped tomato for the pimiento.
As for that shepherd’s pie I mentioned earlier? No real recipe there, I made it up as I went along.
1 lb. ground turkey
½ bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 sachet of Trader Joe’s vegetable broth concentrate
1 cup chopped mushrooms stems (I’d used the caps for a previous dish)
dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of mashed potatoes
Mix first 6 ingredients together and brown/crumble in a skillet. Put mixture into an oven-safe casserole, top with mashed potatoes, and pop it under the broiler until the mashers start to brown.