Nancy Silverton is an internationally acclaimed American chef, baker, restaurateur, and author who also serves as one of Hilton’s most notable global chef partners. In 2022, she opened a branch of her famed Osteria Mozza inside Hilton Singapore Orchard, and it stands today as the only Asian outpost of Chef Silverton’s one-Michelin-starred Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles.
Widely recognized for her role in popularizing sourdough and artisan breads in the United States, she has been named Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” and is the winner of the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Chef Award in 2014. With nine cookbooks to her name (and a 10th on the way!), Silverton’s Italian-inspired recipes are continuously celebrated for their fresh, straightforward flavors.
Of all her recipes that have been praised and pilfered during her decades-long career, it is “Nancy’s Chopped Salad” that has become a viral sensation. First introduced to her menu at Pizzeria Mozza in LA back in 2006,” the offering reached cult status by 2011 with its inclusion in The Mozza Cookbook. Since that time, she has made no changes to this recipe – and why would she? It is perfect.
On a recent trip to Hilton’s McLean-based headquarters, Chef Silverton was kind enough to demonstrate the making of her eponymic salad and provide the recipe below.
- For the Salad
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce
- Half of one small red onion (Halved through the core)
- Dried oregano, for sprinkling (preferably Sicilian oregano on the branch)
- 1 medium head radicchio
- For the Vinaigrette
- Kosher salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1½ cups cooked Ceci (chickpeas)
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 4 ounces aged provolone, sliced ⅛ inch thick and cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
- 2 cloves garlic, 1 smashed flat and 1 grated
- 4 ounces Genoa salami, sliced ⅛ inch thick and cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 5 pepperoncini, stems cut off and discarded, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Juice of ½ lemon, plus more to taste
- 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-pint small, sweet cherry tomatoes (such as Sun Golds or Sweet 100s), halved through the stem ends, or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), or more to taste
- To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, smashed garlic, grated garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine the ingredients. Set the vinaigrette aside to rest for 5 minutes to marinate the oregano. Add the olive oil in a slow, thin stream, whisking constantly to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice, if desired. Set aside.
- To prepare the salad, separate the layers of the onion, stack two or three layers on top of one another, and slice them lengthwise 1/16-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining onion layers. Place the onion slices in a small bowl of ice water and set them aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad. Drain the onion and pat dry with paper towels before adding them to the salad.
- Cut the iceberg in half through the core. Remove and discard the outer leaves from the head and the core. Separate the lettuce leaves, stack two or three leaves on top of one another, and slice them lengthwise ¼-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining leaves and thinly slice the radicchio in the same way.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, season them with salt, and toss gently to distribute the salt. Combine the lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, Ceci, provolone, salami, pepperoncini, and onion slices in a large, wide bowl. Season with salt and toss to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Drizzle ½ cup of the vinaigrette and squeeze the lemon juice over the salad, then toss gently to coat the salad with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, lemon juice, or vinaigrette if desired.
- Pile the salad on a large platter or divide it among individual plates, piling it like a mountain. Sprinkle the dried oregano on top and serve.