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Nancy Silverton’s Italian Chopped Salad

Andria
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Food 52 calls this Italian Chopped Salad “iconic,” with good reason. Los Angeles chef Nancy Silverton, of Pizzeria Mozza in L.A., created it in the early 2000s and then shared the recipe in The Mozza Cookbook. Since then, restaurants and home kitchens across the country have served “Nancy’s Salad” to rave reviews, and lots of nostalgia.

Nancy herself told Kristen Miglore and Food 52 that she envisioned this salad as a throw-back of the old antipasto plates some of us remember eating at pizza restaurants: super tangy, crunchy, and flavored with lots – lots – of oregano. She uses a few simple but impactful tricks that give this salad an edge: soaking red onion slices in ice water, eliminating their sting; finishing the salad with salt and lemon to taste; and salting tomatoes, rendering them “more tomatoey.” While her recipe needs no tinkering whatsoever, I did take the liberty of quick-marinating my tomatoes in a bit of the oregano dressing. Marinated tomatoes on a salad just add extra kick – never a bad thing. Also: salami and cheese on the salad make it totally pizza restaurant-ish, but if you prefer a veggie salad and leave the meat and cheese out, this is still a loveable recipe.

However you make it, this is one of those salads that is addicting. If you’re like me and like all the vinegar, I bet you’ll be like me, making this salad all summer long.

Nancy Silverton’s Italian Chopped Salad

Los Angeles chef Nancy Silverton, of Pizzeria Mozza in L.A., has said she envisioned with this salad as a throw-back of the old antipasto plates some of us remember eating at pizza restaurants: super tangy, crunchy, and flavored with lots of oregano.

Nancy Silverton’s Italian Chopped Salad

2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup olive oil
3 cups sweet, small tomatoes (such as H-E-B Flavor Bombs on the vine)
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
½ small red onion, sliced thin
1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
1 head radicchio, sliced thin
½ cup sliced pepperoncini
1 12-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
¼ pound genoa salami, sliced into thin strips
¼ pound provolone, sliced into thin strips
Freshly squeezed lemon juice from ½ lemon

Place the onion slices in a small bowl and cover with ice water. Set aside. 

Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a small bowl with the basil. Add a couple of tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a large, wide bowl, toss the lettuce, radicchio, pepperoncini, and garbanzo beans. Season with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss again. Top with the salami and provolone. Drain and pat the onion slices dry, then add to the salad. Drizzle 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the salad, then sprinkle with lemon juice and toss gently. Top with the marinated tomatoes and their juice, then sprinkle on more dried oregano. Taste, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette, plus salt and/or lemon juice as needed. 

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