What Makes Nancy Silverton's Michelin-Approved Caesar Salad So Unique?

Without Nancy Silverton, dishes like BLT pizza, chicken liver on bruschetta, and bone marrow al forno likely wouldn't be the same — or, at the very least, harder to find. These are just a few of the simple yet refined offerings on her menu at Pizzeria Mozza's Los Angeles location. This restaurant is not the only one in the chef's portfolio. Some other Silverton-owned spots — Osteria Mozza, Mozza2Go, and Chi Spacca — share the stage (via LA Food Bank).

Who is Silverton? Well, you might know her from an episode of "Chef's Table" on Netflix or as the founder of the famous La Brea Bakery. Or, one might recognize her from one of her eight cookbooks — including "Mozza Cookbook" and "Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book." If that's not enough, she also has two prestigious culinary titles to her name: "Best New Chef" from Food & Wine and "Outstanding Chef" from the James Beard Foundation.

If you haven't guessed already, Italian food seems to be the chef's calling. In fact, Silverton has said a certain frittata changed her forever. She's passionate about the cuisine because of how simple yet tasty it is, as she shared with Eater. Needless to say, this love certainly shows in the menu items at her restaurants.

But the chef doesn't just stick to tried-and-true Italian traditions when it comes to her food. At Osteria Mozza, which has one Michelin star, she puts her own twist on the classic Caesar salad (which itself is different from the original version). Here's what makes it so unique.

Nancy's Caesar is like a deconstructed salad

So what makes Silverton's salad — dubbed "Nancy's Caesar" — stand out? Well, it's essentially a deconstructed version of Caesar salad. Aesthetically, it doesn't look like the classic, but, taste-wise, it contains each element. In an interview with Michelin Guide, the chef gave a complete overview of her signature dish, which starts with a hearty slice of crostini that's topped with garlic aioli, braised leeks, slices of hard-boiled eggs, and anchovies — in that order. This layered crostini is placed alongside a small romaine lettuce salad that's dressed in a garlic-parmesan vinaigrette. 

The components of this deconstructed dish may seem simple, but simplicity means that if you don't use fresh, quality ingredients or the right techniques, it's immediately noticeable — in a bad way, as Silverton explained to CNA Luxury.

And how are you supposed to eat Nancy's Caesar? The chef herself encourages a hands-only approach as you alternate between the crostini and the lettuce — a new way of enjoying such beloved flavors.