The Columbia Restaurant is an authentic Spanish restaurant with several 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 and is one of the oldest restaurants in the state.
The Columbia’s 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 added some crunchy Smoked Paprika Croutons.
Columbia Restaurant 1905 Salad
- 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, sliced
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Smoked Paprika Croutons (optional):
- 1/2 French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, or more to taste
- Pinch of salt
- Start by making the croutons. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the smoked paprika until well blended. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add the bread cubes and a pinch of salt. Toss until the butter and oil are absorbed.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the croutons are toasty and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool
- Next, make the dressing by whisking the garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire and oregano together in a small bowl.
- Gradually whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion.
- Toss the lettuce, onion, Swiss cheese, ham, and olives in a large salad bowl and set aside.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the croutons and tomatoes and toss again. Serve immediately.