Blog Readers Favorite
After nearly 7 years of food blogging, you might be interested in knowing what the top two recipes are for readers of GoodFoodSTL. The one for Bourbon Balls soars during the Christmas season. But the year-round favorite is La Scala’s Chopped Salad. So I’m posting it again along with the history of the salad.
The Celebrity Salad
The culinary masterpiece was introduced in the 50s by Chef Jean Leon at La Scala Boutique in Beverly Hills. The tasty dish combined two kinds of lettuce, salami, chickpeas, and cheese.
Over the years, the salad has been nibbled on by celebs such as Elizabeth Taylor, Julia Roberts, and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as JFK. La Scala still features the original version ($11.75, or for a $1.50 more, you can sub turkey, chicken, or tuna for the salami). Some food bloggers have further jazzed up the recipe with avocados and cherry tomato halves.
The recipe below is the one published in the LA Times many years ago. The secret ingredient in the vinaigrette dressing was purported to be the dry mustard. According to Chef Leon’s daughter, the original was hard to eat so the salad was chopped into small bite-size pieces. Pull out your mezzaluna and get to rockin’. This one’s a keeper.
The Original La Scala Chopped Salad
Ingredients: (Serves 6)
- 2 heads of lettuce, finely chopped, romaine and iceberg
- 1/4 lb. salami julienne
- 1/4 lb. Mozzarella, shredded
- 1-15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 Tbs. wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Chop all ingredients, but leave garbanzos whole. (Romaine lettuce gives flavor while iceberg imparts crunch.) Toss all together and dress with vinaigrette.
(Post updated from July 2015)