In the Ybor City section of Tampa, there is a famous restaurant, The Columbia.
I had always wanted to check it out when my parents lived there, but my dad was not a fan of anything with a hint of spice or flavor to it, so… Fast forward a couple of decades or so, and I came across a recipe for The Columbia’s signature salad, the 1905; mad with ham and Swiss cheese and olives and lemon and… well, you’ll see. I think this is a pretty terrific party salad, because the dressing needs to be made ahead, then you can just toss and serve.
•2 tbsp champagne vinegar
•1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
•4 garlic cloves
•2 tsp lemon juice
•1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
•1 tsp oregano
•1 tsp black pepper
•1/8 tsp Kosher salt
•1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
•2 ripe tomatoes, cut in eighths
•1/2 cup sliced red onion
•1/2 cup Swiss cheese, cut in julienne strips
•1/2 cup ham, cut in julienne strips
•1/4 cup olives, pitted (I get mine from the olive bar at the market)
•2 tsp grated Romano cheese*
*I used Penzey’s Salad Elegant seasoning.
A couple of days ahead (for best flavor), combine the dressing ingredients together in a beaker or blender container and give a good whizzz to emulsify.
Note: an immersion blender works a treat for this.
Transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid and stash in the fridge until needed.
Note: the olive oil will more than likely chill into a solid chink, so plan to allow the dressing to come to room temperature before dressing the salad.
When ready to serve, add the lettuce, tomato, onion, Swiss cheese, ham, and olives to a large salad bowl.
Pour the dressing over all, season with the Romano cheese (or Salad Elegant), then toss and serve.
A bit of crusty bread might be nice here to sop up some of that tasty dressing.
Just a thought…