Friday, January 7, 2011

The Columbia's 1905 Salad

The Columbia Restaurant in Sarasota, Florida is one of my favorite restaurants for nostalgic reasons. I have family in Sarasota and attended college not far away in St. Petersburg. The restaurant is formal service in a casual atmosphere and they pull it off beautifully. The table side preparation of the 1905 salad is always a treat to watch and eat. I had the opportunity to dine there recently and was not disappointed. It was a lovely day with just a hint of cool to the air. We sat at one of the outdoor tables where the conversation is almost communal given the distance between tables. In such a tourist area, there were a lot of locals sharing a meal near us. I got the Black Bean Soup with a side 1905 salad. I like the soup  but don't love it and usually wish I had just gotten the salad alone. But that day, the chunkiness of the soup and flavor balanced well with the salad.
The salad is a favorite in my family. Each of us has taken the basic recipe and changed it to make it our own, adding our favorite salad veggies and meat. We usually agree on the cheese addition only varying in the amount  to add. I am not usually a fan in iceberg lettuce but this salad needs a hearty,crunchy lettuce. I am adding the original recipe here. You may find the history about The Columbia interesting as well.  There are far more locations now than the original in Tampa and the outpost in Sarasota when I was a younger me. But thinking you may not be close to one, I am posting my version of the recipe. The pictures following the recipe are the Evelyn version.Please vary the salad to make it your own. It is a great light dinner and perfect with a vegetable based soup like Black Bean or Lentil.

Buen Provecho!

Family Salad
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, broken into bite size chunks
1  tomato, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, cut into julienne strips
1/2 cup ham, or turkey or shrimp cut into julienne strips
2 sticks celery, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced
1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
Salad Dressing Ingredients
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 lemon, juiced

1. Toss all salad ingredients together, except Romano cheese.
2. Mix garlic, marjoram, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Beat until smooth with a whisk. Add olive oil gradually beating to form an emulsion. Stir in vinegar and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add dressing to salad and toss well. Add Romano cheese and toss one more time.


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