Columbia Restaurant 1905 Salad - Smoked Paprika Croutons

The Columbia Restaurant is an authentic Spanish restaurant with seven locations in the state of Florida, including one in the Orlando area near Walt Disney World. The original opened in the Ybor City district of Tampa in 1905. Their signature salad, The 1905, is legendary and the proprietors are kind enough to share the recipe on their website. We've adapted it a little to suit our taste and served it along with crunchy Smoked Paprika-Manchego Croutons (recipe follows).

Columbia Restaurant 1905 Salad - Smoked Paprika Croutons
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  • Ingredients:
  • 6 cups romaine or iceberg lettuce (or a combination)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
  • 1/4 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:
Toss the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, Swiss cheese, ham and olives in a large salad bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, oregano, Worcestershire, vinegar and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Add the dressing to salad and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and serve with Smoked Paprika-Manchego Croutons.

Serves 2 for dinner or 4 as a first course

Smoked Paprika-Manchego Croutons
A cross between garlic bread and croutons, these smoky, crunchy bites are a perfect accompaniment to this boldly flavored salad.

1/4 French baguette, cut into eight 1/2-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon authentic Spanish smoked paprika (see below)
Pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese

Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Combine the butter, olive oil, garlic, paprika and sea salt in a small bowl. Spread on the rounds of bread and top each with a portion of the grated Manchego. Bake until toasty and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

Gourmet-Delights.com is a good source for top quality paprika from Spain.

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