If you’re in Los Angeles and you haven’t eaten at Mozza Pizzeria or Osteria – you don’t know what you are missing. Nancy Silverton, creator of La Brea Bakery and now the Mozza Empire is one of the most talented chefs in our city. She not only makes some of the most amazing pizza and pasta, but her salads are to die for. If you can’t get to LA, buy her cookbook, Mozza or just buy it anyway, and cook your way through it – it’s fantastic.
Her Italian Chopped Salad is delicious and this recipe of mine is adapted from her book. Ingredients matter is all cooking, but especially in fresh salads – there’s no ability to cover up things that don’t taste good. So, buy good produce from a farmer’s market or grocery store, and seek out good dried oregano from either a local Italian market, or importer online.
The vinaigrette in this recipe is a simple blend of vinegar, lemon, dried oregano and oil, but it needs a little time to marinate in the jar before tossing with the salad. Also, the salami you use should be something you enjoy eating often – I prefer peppered salami with a bit of heat, but go with your favorite. Pecorino Cheese is another thing you should splurge on because the flavors vary from brand to brand. I happen to come across a Truffle Pecorino from Costco of all places, which I think adds even more flavor.
This salad is super filling and it could definitely be a meal, but it’s also fun to serve alongside a bowl of simple spaghetti or something from the grill. I think it’s delightful all year long because the flavors in this salad never go out of season.
1 head butter or gem lettuces, torn
1/2 head radicchio, sliced thinly
1 cup baby arugula
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans or chickpeas
1 cup Pecorino cheese
4 ounces salami
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic minced
pinch of salt & pepper
pinch of granulated sugar
1 cup olive oil
- In a jar with fitted lid, add all vinaigrette ingredients, except olive oil. Place lid on top and shake, set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add butter lettuce, radicchio, arugula and garbanzo beans. Dice Pecorino into small pieces and slice salami thinly, add to salad. Toss together to combine.
- Add olive oil to vinaigrette and shake until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour half the vinaigrette around edges of bowl and toss with greens to coat. Add more if necessary. Toss with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. Enjoy!