I found this recipe on MyGourmetConnection.com and here is what was stated about this recipe: "The Columbia Restaurant is an authentic Spanish/Cuban 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. The croutons themselves, sound awesome but knowing how good the salad is at the restaurant and adding them to it has to be over the top. This serves 2 as a dinner salad and 4 for a first course dish.
For the salad
- 6 cups romaine lettuce (or a combination) or 6 cups 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 -3 garlic cloves, 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
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the croutons
- 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 garlic clove, very finely chopped
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon authentic spanish smoked paprika
- 1 pinch 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.
- 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.
For me the croutons rocked my world and took this to 5 stars. My dinner mates declared that this also had a very nice vinaigrette and they liked the combination of toppings. I used Romaine. Due to America's sad tomato situation, I used grape tomatoes for the perfect sweet taste. For the croutons, I couldn't justify buying a large piece of Manchego, so I substituted a sharp Provolone, which approximated the Manchego taste pretty well. I opted to containerize each element separately so my dinner guests could say yay or nay to which they wanted and which they would skip. I was the only one to include the olives, and all but one chose the honey ham. I let people pour their own salad dressing. What would take this over the top would be to serve Jamon Serrano as the ham, in keeping with the Spanish theme. I have plans for the croutons: to wok them in all but the cheese, then bake with the cheese for 5-7 minutes. Definitely use smoked paprika! Made for Please Review My Recipe tag game.
I made a single serving if this delicious salad for my lunch today. Had to use Havarti cheese as it's what I had but I don't think the salad suffered any, :D. The croutons are amazingly good and worth making a larger batch to have ready for anything you might want yummy bread cubes for. Seriously a keeper.
This was a great salad! I put the olives on the side and used chopped up deli ham. Also, I couldn't find manchego, so subbed the provolone as well! This was a great salad I could eat just by itself! Made for PAC Fall 2012