This is absolutely beautiful to look at and very delicately flavored. Seasoned vegetable jewels are held together by a clear jellied consomm� which rests on a bedding of bright green pea or asparagus mousse. Impress your mother-in-law with this one.
Yield: 6 to 10 servings
Combine all the ingredients for the consomm�, except the agar, in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The vegetables will be cooked in this, and both the consomm� and vegetables will benefit from the joint simmering. Bring the consomm� to a gentle boil, and cook the vegetables in it, a few pieces at a time, until they are tender but still crisp. Remove the vegetables as they cook, and drain well in a colander placed over a bowl to catch the drippings. Strain and measure the broth. If you have more than 2 cups, boil it down rapidly to 2 cups. Check the flavor; you might have to adjust the seasonings with a little additional salt, soy sauce, Madeira, or tomato paste.
Prepare the agar as instructed on page 2, and dissolve it in the 2 cups of consomm�. Immediately pour 1/3 inch into a 1-quart bread pan or terrine mold, and set it over a tray of ice or in the freezer for a few minutes until it begins to jell slightly. Start layering the cooked vegetables, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch space on both sides or the terrine will crumble when cut. Broccoli flowers look pretty down the middle, surrounded by carrot sticks and asparagus. Pour a little more hot consomm� into the mold, being careful not to disrupt the layer of vegetables inside, and allow it to jell slightly before layering in more vegetables. Repeat this process of layering vegetables, pouring in consomm�, and allowing it to partially set until all the consomm� is used up. (You will probably have some vegetables left over.) This takes time, since the consomm� must thicken slightly before the vegetables can be put in and held in place. Don't allow it to harden completely during the process. A few minutes in the freezer each time more consomm� has been poured in is all that is necessary to get it to the proper soft-jell consistency.
You will have plenty of time while the consomm� is jelling to make the green pea or asparagus mousse. Cook the peas or asparagus and the onion in the stock with the sweetener and salt until tender. Drain, reserving the liquid. Pur�e the vegetables with the soymilk or soy cream, then dissolve the agar in the remaining stock. (You should have at least 1/4 cup or more.) Add it to the pur�ed vegetables, and blend for 10 seconds. Pour this very carefully on top of the consomm� and vegetable mold when the previous layers have jelled slightly. Chill in the refrigerator several hours or overnight, and carefully invert onto a plate. Slice and serve.
Per serving: Calories 51, Protein 3 g, Fat 0 g, Carbohydrates