Massage your Salad with Chef Nancy Silverton

I had the privilege to attend Macy's Culinary Council live cooking demonstrating featuring Chef Nancy Silverton at the Macy's Mission Valley Home Store in San Diego this past Saturday. I've visited Macy's Home many times but never realized there was a huge cooking demonstration room in the store! There were over 100 seats in the room and a line out the door for this free event! The cooking event was well attended, all seats were taken!

Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles, as well as Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Singapore. She is the author of several books including Nancy Silverton's Sandwich BookBreads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur and most recently The Mozza Cookbook.  She announced she will be opening a restaurant which is a fusion of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in the Old Police Headquarters here in San Diego in the Fall of 2013.

The recipes Chef Silverton shared with the audience were salads inspired by a simple lemon vinaigrette:
1/4 cup shallots minced
5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1.2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly groud petter, more to taste

The three salads Chef Silverton shared with the attendees were a Kale Salad, a Sweet Gem Lettuce Salad with Bufala Mozzarella, Cucumber, and yogurt, and a Tricolore Salad with a Mustard Vinaigrette. All these salads used the lemon vinaigrette as a base and additional ingredients were added to make each salad unique.

Tricolore Salad
Kale Salad - yes, that's a sardine and its was surprisingly yummy!

Sweet Gem Lettuce Salad with Bufala Mozzarella, Cucumber, and yogurt
My favorite was the Tricolore Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. Chef took a 1/2 cup of the lemon vinaigrette and added 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard. For the salad, she used 3 large heads of belgian endive or 1 large heard of radicchio leaves, 3 large heads of frisée, and 6 cups arugala. She removed all the brown and unappealing outer leaves. Pulling all the leaves away from their core, she added salt and tossed the salad with her hands to ensure even distribution. She drizzled the dressing a 1/2 cup at a time with a sprinkle of Parmagiano-Reggiano, again tossing the salad with her hands. 

As she was making the salads, she had a few recommendations:
1) Add dressing a bit at a time to make sure you don't over dress your salad. You can add more if you need, but you can't remove it if you add too much.
2) Massage the dressing into your salad "with your hands". This ensures the dressing is even and gets into every bite. She discourages the use of salad tongs.
3) Visit farmers markets to get the best ingredients for your salads.
4) Purchase your olive oil in colored bottles. Exposure to light can damage the oil.
5) Having a pepper grinder is essential. Throw away your pre-ground pepper.
6) Vinaigrette is easy to make. No need to buy pre-made!

Chef Silverton made a confession as she prepared the salads. Not only does she use her hands in preparing salads, she said she likes to each salad with her hands too! I immediately thought of the Filipino eating "kamayan", with your hands. As Chef Silverton said, there is just something about eating with your hands, feel the food, appreciate the food, and some how it adds flavor. I agree!

Friends Eleina, Dorothy, and Blossom, and I love all of the salads. They were all very different and full of flavor. With all of our resolutions to eat healthier this new year, the salad recipes were a great inspiration to be more creatives with our salads.

Dorothy from
Thanks to Macy's Culinary Council, Chef Nancy Silverton, and Everywhere for the great event, the helpful cooking tips, and an overall excellent experience! 

At Everywhere, abides by FTC guidelines ( in all outreach on behalf of our clients. At Everywhere contacted me on behalf of Macy's Culinary Council. Although I received compensation in exchange for my participation, the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.