The 1905 Columbia Salad is one of Florida’s most iconic foods from its long running and legendary eatery in Tampa, Florida. Tossed right in front of you, this salad is a gem to get if you happen to be in Florida.
That being said, this salad and all its light and flavorful ingredients can easily be made in at home kitchens with this copycat Columbia salad recipe.
Try this famous “1905” Columbia Salad for your next dinner–it’s sure to be a success!
Have you ever heard of the famous Columbia restaurant?
Located originally in Tampa, Florida, the historic Cuban-influenced eatery has been welcoming guests since 1905, making it Florida’s longest running restaurant.
What started out as a small family-run operation has burgeoned to seven locations around the Sunshine State, proving the Columbia continues to be a huge influence on Florida’s modern foodie scene.
Columbia’s Original “1905” Salad
Enter the “1905” Salad.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous salad and a favorite from the Columbia menu, and there’s a good reason why–It’s even tossed tableside for guests! While the ambiance at home might not compare to the legendary Columbia, at least the flavor can.
Not only is this salad super delicious, it’s incredibly simple to make.
It combines crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, plump olives, and a delicate olive oil dressing, all mixed together with bite-sized ham, swiss, and aged Romano.
Whether you make it as an easy weeknight side or a sophisticated lunch with friends, I think once you try it for yourself, you’ll agree that the “1905” Columbia deserves to remain one of America’s favorite salads!
- half a head of iceberg lettuce
- ham lunch meat
- swiss cheese slices
- Spanish olives
- grated Romano cheese
Although we are from Florida, we were originally introduced to this salad from it going viral on Tiktok. ITS SO GOOD, the rest is history!
What is in the 1905 Columbia Salad Dressing?
This dressing is a copycat of the original and contains the following ingredients. If you know you are serving this salad, preparing the dressing in advance helps all the flavors to set and even get better. Just remember that olive oil should not be put in the fridge as it can solidify, therefore prepare in a mason jar, seal tight and set aside on the counter.
- olive oil
- white wine vinegar
- fresh lemon
- minced garlic
- salt and pepper
Secret Sauce Ingredient: Often Worcestershire is added directly to the salad prior to serving over adding to the dressing. If you would like to do that as well, add about 1 1/2 tablespoon to the salad prior to adding the dressing (directly on the lettuce). In the TikTok version, everyone always adds it right to the dressing itself.
I think one of the differences is that most liquid added to a dressing bowl will float with the olive oil and stay separated. By adding right to the lettuce, you get the full flavor. Ill leave that up to you.
Does the lemon and Worcestershire go on the lettuce or in the dressing?
This is a great question! In the original recipe from the restuerant, the Romano, Lemon and Worcestershire go directly on the salad, not in the dressing. Then the dressing is added AFTER.
In the tiktok version, however, the lemon and Worcestershire are added into the dressing. I am not sure if it makes a huge flavor difference, but I imagine that the restaurant does it to the salad for more of a presentation since they make it front of you.
How do I store Columbia Salad?
If you think you’ll have leftovers of Columbia Salad, only toss the amount you’ll eat that sitting.
Salad never lasts long in the fridge after it’s been tossed with dressing, and this salad is no different.
Without the dressing, you can keep Columbia Salad in an airtight container for generally up to 2-3 days.
What are some good pairing options with Columbia Salad?
I love the idea of serving this delicious “1905” Columbia Salad to guests for a lunchtime get together.
It’s light and summery, and of course it’s from an iconic restaurant specializing in Cuban and Spanish Food. Bearing all that in mind, I think this salad could be eaten with so many different meals:
- Chicken and Rice dishes
- Light, simple pastas
- Seafood, like this Mediterranean Salmon
- Vegetables, like Braised Artichoke or Warm Lemon and Herb Potatoes
If this Columbia Salad is to be a meal in-and-of-itself, then pair it with some deliciously warm Cuban bread with butter.
Is “1905” Columbia Salad Keto and low-carb friendly?
If you are on the Keto or other low-carb diet, then this nutritious “1905” Columbia Salad might a good choice for lunch or dinner. The ham and cheeses make it high in protein, a must for Keto.
This salad also contains minimally processed ingredients, and it uses healthy olive oil in the dressing. For anyone worried about tomatoes, you would have to seriously over eat tomatoes to knock you out of ketosis.
What variations can be made with 1905 Columbia Salad?
Just like any salad, “1905” Columbia Salad is really versatile. Because this amazing salad contains meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and olives, it really has a basis for just about anything. That being said, here are some ingredient alterations:
- If olives aren’t really your thing, just leave them out (my kids aren’t big fans). Many people like substituting turkey or shrimp for ham.
- If you are cooking for a vegetarian palette, you can skip the meat altogether, or substitute with a hard boiled egg.
Famous Florida Recipes
This salad is not the only famous recipe that comes from Florida! Florida also has other iconic foods that are associated with the sunny state like Key Lime Pie (key west), Florida Orange Juice, Gator (yes!), and of course all the seafood you can handle.
Florida also does fried foods quite well because of all the outdoor events we typically have.
More of the Best Summer Salad Recipes
Looking for more of the best summer salads that go perfectly with potlucks?
Need some amazing salad recipes that you will want to make over and over all summer long? From potato salads to light fruit filled salads, there really is no shortage of delicious summer flavors to get you excited about the food.
Here are some of my very favorite family friendly salads that always have zero left over when I serve. Just make sure to use fresh seasonal ingredients and enjoy every moment!
- Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe
- Southern Potato Salad Recipe
- Cucumber Tomato Salad Recipe
- Broccoli Grape Salad Recipe
- Caprese Everything Bagel Salad Recipe
- Summer Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
- Spinach Salad with Strawberries Recipe
1905 Columbia Salad
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- half of a fresh lemon
- 1 tablespoon garlic - minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1905 Salad Ingredients:
- half a head of iceberg lettuce
- 2 tomatoes - chopped
- 1/2 lb. ham lunch meat - cut into small pieces
- 1/2 lb. of swiss cheese slices - cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup Spanish olives - drained
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
Make Salad Dressing First
- Mix olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, oregano, lemon and garlic together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Set aside. This dressing is fine to make ahead, just place in a sealed mason jar or container and leave on counter
- Do not refrigerate dressing as it could solidify with the olive oil.
Make 1905 Salad
- Prep all ingredients as listed above.
- Add lettuce, tomatoes, ham, swiss cheese and olives together in a bowl.
- Pour dressing on top and toss to coat.
- Add Romano cheese and mix well until evenly coated.
- Serve salad immediately.