Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It’ s all about the dressing

One of my favorite restaurants in Sarasota is Columbia’s Restaurant on St. Armands Key. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sarasota, St. Armands Key is known for the circle. The Key is known world wide for the round-about and very fancy stores and restaurants. As a kid it was one of the places that I would go, pressing my nose up to the windows of the fancy clothing shops and drooling past the fancy restaurants.

The first "real" restaurant I went to was Columbia’s on the circle, and the rich spicy spanish flavor of the authentic Columbian food always brings me back to my first "fancy" dining experience.

One of the Columbia’s signature dishes is The 1905 Salad. It’s a salad made with iceburg lettuce, sliced ham, sliced swiss cheese, ripe tomatoes and spanish olive. Sounds like a pretty average salad doesn’t it?

Well it’s all about the dressing. A friend of mine found the recipe a few years ago in the newspaper and passed it along to me. For the longest time I thought she left something out because I could never get it to taste quite as good as the restaurants. The answer is in the lemon juice. The recipe calls for the juice of one lemon, but it depends on how much juice is in the lemon. It also breaks all the ratio rules of oil to vinegar but it is Columbian after all.

This has become my go to salad. I make it all the time and often make it with mixed spring greens or just baby spinach leaves. I make it for picniks and potlucks instead of macaroni or potato salad and everyone always wants the recipe.

Columbia’s 1905 Salad

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
the juice of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic

1 head iceburg lettuce (or 2 bags mixed spring greens)
1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
1/4 lb. Sliced smoked ham
1/4 lb. Sliced swiss cheese
8 ounces ripe cherry tomatoes
4 ounces spanish pimento stuffed olives

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Dressing is better if made the night before).

Shred the lettuce and add to a large salad bowl. Add the parmesean cheese and toss to coat the lettuce. Add the remaining ingredients and the dressing and toss to coat. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread. Enjoy!!


Jenny said...

What a pretty looking salad! I love that it is from the 50's!

Veronica said...

It certainly looks tasty...the only thing that makes me nervous is the egg-I'm ashamed to say I've never tried an egg in a salad. I love eggs, but I've been afraid to move them from the breakfast plate to the salad plate...this sounds like a good time to try! :-)

Carrie said...

Hey there Birdie! I used your dressing recipe for a pasta salad with all the same ingredients minus the lettuce. It turned out fabulous and leftovers get better and better as they sit in the fridge...perfect for these H-O-T summer days!