Columbia Restaurant’s “1905” Salad

By Denise Schultz

Being a person who loves eating salad I was excited when I was asked to create and write about the Columbia Restaurant’s “1905” Salad.  The restaurant the salad originates from, The Columbia, is a Tampa landmark.  If you ask anyone from Tampa where to eat at a Tampa authentic restaurant, I assure you they will tell you to eat at now one of the many Columbia restaurants  throughout the Tampa Bay area.  The salad was selected as One of America’s Top 10 Best Salads by USA Today.

Every time I go to the restaurant I ALWAYS order this salad.  I was excited to make it to see if it would taste different.  The recipe can be found in Capture the Coast.  I was shocked how many of the ingredients I had in my home cupboard and how easy it was to make!  For something so delicious one would think it would take a while to make such an amazing dressing but in fact the entire prep time took ten to fifteen minutes tops.

You begin by making the dressing.  I think the task that took the longest was mincing the garlic.  Once that is complete you must whisk the remaining ingredients (oil, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper) a little bit at a time.  Once it’s emulsified you can continue with creating the salad. If you’re planning on hosting a party it’s actually suggested to make the dressing one to two days in advance and refrigerate; by making it in advance you’ll have one less thing to worry about when prepping for the party! Next, you combine all the remaining ingredients (lettuce, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, olives and your preferred type of meat – turkey, ham or shrimp) into a bowl.  Add the dressing and toss it all together.  Within no time you will have a Tampa classic that has minimal prep time and will be one of the star courses of the meal!

Columbia Restaurant’s “1905” Salad (Capture the Coast, pg. 53)


4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup extra-virgin Spanish olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


½ head iceberg lettuce

2 tomatoes cut into eighths

½ cup julienned Swiss cheese

½ cup julienned ham, turkey or shrimp

¼ cup pitted green Spanish olives

2 teaspoons grated Romano cheese

For the dressing, whisk the garlic, oregano and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Add the olive oil gradually, whisking constantly until emulsified. Whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

For the salad, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, ham and olives in a bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add the Romano cheese and toss again. Yield: 4 servings



2 thoughts on “Columbia Restaurant’s “1905” Salad

  1. Lisl Unterho says:

    I highly recommend a garlic press for mincing the garlic. With a garlic press, you don’t so much cut the garlic as mash it, which lets more of the garlic oil flavor the dressing, plus it’s fast! Making the dressing ahead is also a good way to amp up the flavor.

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