Chef offers best chopped salad

Nancy's Chopped Salad

In her new cookbook, chef Nancy Silverton says she has been making various versions of chopped salads since the 1970s and considers this to be her best one yet.

You'll have leftover vinaigrette, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Adapted from "The Mozza Cookbook," by Nancy Silverton, Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreno (Knopf, 2011).

Makes 8 first-course servings or 4 main-course servings


For the vinaigrette

2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons dried oregano

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), or more to taste

2 medium cloves garlic, 1 smashed and 1 grated

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad

1/2 small red onion, cut in half from top to bottom

1 head (about 22 ounces) iceberg lettuce

1 head (about 11 ounces) radicchio

1 pint small, sweet cherry tomatoes, such as Sun Golds or Sweet 100s

Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups no-salt-added chickpeas, drained

1/4 pound aged provolone, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

1/4 pound Genoa salami, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

5 pepperoncini (stems discarded), cut into thin slices (about 1/4 cup)

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), or more to taste

Dried oregano (preferably Sicilian oregano on the branch), for sprinkling


For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, the smashed garlic and grated garlic and the salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes (to marinate the oregano). Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning, and add salt or lemon juice as needed. The yield is a generous 1 1/2 cups; you'll use up to 1/2 cup for this salad, and the remainder can be refrigerated for another use (up to three days).

For the salad: Separate the layers of the onion and stack two or three layers on top of one another, then cut them lengthwise into 1/16-inch-wide strips. Repeat with the remaining onion layers. Place the onion in a small bowl of ice water to sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Drain the onion and pat dry with paper towels before adding to the salad.

Cut the iceberg lettuce in half through the core. Remove and discard the outer leaves, and discard the core. Separate the lettuce leaves, stack two or three leaves on top of one another, then cut them lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Repeat with the remaining leaves; thinly slice the radicchio in the same way. Cut the tomatoes in half, season them with salt to taste, and toss gently.

Combine the lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, chickpeas, provolone, salami, pepperoncini and onion in a large, wide bowl. Season with salt to taste, and toss to thoroughly combine. Drizzle 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the salad, then sprinkle with the lemon juice; toss gently to coat the salad evenly. Taste, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, plus salt and/or lemon juice as needed.

Transfer the salad to a large platter or divide it among individual plates, piling it like a mountain. Sprinkle the dried oregano leaves on top and serve.

Nutrition per serving (based on 4, using one-third of the dressing): 610 calories, 22g protein, 32g carbohydrates, 46g fat, 12g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 1180mg sodium, 9g dietary fiber, 9g sugar.