This is a recipe that my mother-in-law fixed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ruth used individual fluted metal molds, unmolded onto platters lined with lettuce leaves. Unfortunately, those molds disappeared over the years, but I found a set on eBay and the tradition is reborn. It's not a favorite dish for all, but many of us enjoy having salad flavors and tastes in such a different presentation. As with many dishes that do not appeal to all, it soon disappears as those people "take just a bite to see if it tastes as bad as I remember."
It doesn't! It is a very good salad -- just don't think of it as dessert and it will taste great.
I've seen similar recipes that add olives, green and or black, sliced or chopped; chopped bell peppers; peppers of your heat choice; sliced boiled eggs. Whatever flavor you wish in a salad could be incorporated for variations. This is her recipe, though, and she used the specific brands shown below.
2 small boxes lemon Jello
2 cups hot water
1 can Campbell's Cream of Tomato soup, undiluted
6 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, cut into small pieces and softened
1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Dissolve gelatin in hot water and cool. Heat tomato soup slowly adding the cream cheese until the cheese is melted. Cool.
Combine gelatin and soup mixtures. Add salad dressing and mix well.
Add remaining ingredients. Mix well, pour into molds and refrigerate until firm. Yields 14 to 16 servings.