All that research about Cuban recipes for Krystal’s virtual baby shower paid off – I now have several mouth-watering recipes bookmarked from Saveur, one of my favorite food magazines/websites. Among magazines that focus on celebrity chefs and the newest burger trends, Saveur stands apart with its honest, down-to-earth, genuine celebration of different cultures, food, and the people who make it.
As I scrolled through my search results for “Cuban food,” I came across this salad called the “Columbia 1905,” which is from the blog Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy. The salad originates from a Cuban restaurant in Florida named the Columbia and consists of crispy iceberg lettuce, julienned ham, Swiss cheese, pimento-stuffed green olives, grated Romano cheese, and a garlicky, lemony dressing. At the Columbia restaurant, tuxedo clad waiters toss the salad at your table, which I imagine adds a nice dramatic touch before digging into your first course.
We omitted the tomatoes because they’re not yet in season (though I long for them), added some diced green bell pepper because it sounded appealing, and the best thing (wait for it) – added some crumbed chorizo bacon from El Salchichero, sort of a play on a Cuban-style club sandwich, er, salad. And while it’s not the lowest sodium dish in the world, this flavorful salad with Cuban flair is substantial enough to be a dinner on its own, and special enough to be served for dinner guests. You might want to keep this recipe in mind in a couple weeks when you’re looking for new ways to use up leftover Easter ham!
And you know those Garlic Knots I just posted? They would be an awesome accompaniment to this salad!
Columbia 1905 Salad
For the Salad:
4 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/2 a large green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup ham, julienned
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, julienned
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green Spanish olives, sliced
2 cups “1905” Dressing (see recipe below)
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
1 tsp. – 1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce, according to your taste (we used 1 TBS.)
1-2 TBS. fresh lemon juice, according to your taste (we used 1/2 a lemon)
2 strips of chorizo bacon (or regular bacon if you don’t live near El Salchichero), cooked and crumbled
For the “1905” Dressing:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 TBS. cup white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, garlic, and oregano in a small bowl and mix with a whisk. Gradually add the vinegar, beating to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (For best results, prepare 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerate).
- Combine lettuce, peppers, ham, Swiss cheese, and olives in a large salad bowl. Before serving, add “1905” Dressing, Romano cheese, Worcestershire, and the fresh lemon juice. Toss well, top with crumbled chorizo bacon, and serve immediately. Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side salad.