Restaurant Nostrana’s Celebrated Italian Salad

This signature salad from Portland’s popular Nostrana restaurant brings together Cathy Whims’ take on an Italian favorite. While this may contain some ingredients you don’t usually see here at Calmful Living, such as sardines and mayo, we like to offer indulgences to those who relish adventure. Enjoy!

Insalata Nostrana

8 servings


2 large heads of radicchio (the round Verona type)
3 cups cubed (¾-inch) herbed focaccia or crusty country bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (total) chopped fresh sage and rosemary
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 or 5 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Break apart radicchio into 1½-inch pieces and soak in icy water for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, prepare croutons and dressing. Bake the bread cubes in a 375° oven on a large baking sheet until toasted; about 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the sage and rosemary, and cook until fragrant. Turn off heat, add croutons, toss well and cool.

4. Add garlic, vinegar, wine, mayonnaise, anchovies, olive oil and pepper to a food processor or blender and process until emulsified. Season to taste.

Drain radicchio, spin well in salad spinner and place in large salad bowl. Toss with dressing to coat well, add croutons, then shower generously with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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