Today's lovely item is the Asheville Salad, once served at the long-closed Choices Restaurant on Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee. (I have no idea why it is called Asheville Salad.) Thanks to a little spiral bound book of recipes from the restaurant, we have been able to reproduce it for you. Unlike our earlier congealed salads, this one is savory.
1/2 can (approx 5 1/2 oz) condensed tomato soup
2 c water
1 0.3 oz envelope Natural Desserts unflavored vegan jel
6 oz vegan cream cheese
1 c vegan mayo or yogurt
1/2 c. chopped cucumber
1/4 c. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 t. grated onion
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Mix soup and water, and bring to a boil. Whisk in the vegan jel to dissolve. With a mixer, cream together the cream cheese and mayo. Add the soup/jel mixture. Stir in everything else. Pour into a casserole dish and chill until firm.
At the restaurant, this was sometimes served as a salad, and sometimes as a dip (with Ritz-type crackers). Heck, you could go all out and add some vegan shrimp. If you ever had a 1950s-style "shrimp mold," this tastes quite similar.