1905 Salad

Step into a world where history and flavor intertwine, and you’ll find the 1905 Salad—an iconic dish that pays homage to the rich culinary heritage of Cuba. This salad, which traces its roots to the famed Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Florida, is a delightful blend of fresh ingredients and a zesty dressing, capturing the essence of the year the restaurant was founded. In this article, we will embark on a journey through time and taste, delving into the fascinating history and delectable flavors of the 1905 Salad.

Ingredients: A Symphony of Freshness

For the Salad:

  • 1 head of crisp iceberg lettuce, providing a refreshing base
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced into wedges, offering a burst of juicy sweetness
  • 2 cups of julienne-cut Swiss cheese, adding creaminess and a nutty nuance
  • 2 cups of julienne-cut baked ham, imparting a savory depth
  • 1/2 cup of Spanish green olives, introducing a briny and tangy twist
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Romano cheese, elevating the salad’s saltiness
  • 4-6 lemon wedges, serving as a zesty finishing touch

For the “1905” Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, lending a Mediterranean richness
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced, infusing a bold and aromatic flavor
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, enhancing the depth of the dressing
  • 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar, contributing a subtle tanginess
  • Juice of 1 lemon, providing a zesty and invigorating kick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season according to your preferences

Instructions: Crafting a Taste of History

1. Prepare the Salad:

  • Begin by washing the iceberg lettuce and tearing it into bite-sized pieces. Arrange these pieces in a large salad bowl, creating a vibrant and inviting bed of fresh greens.

2. Layer the Ingredients:

  • Artfully arrange the sliced tomatoes, julienne-cut Swiss cheese, julienne-cut baked ham, and Spanish green olives over the bed of lettuce. This symphony of colors and textures sets the stage for a remarkable salad.

3. Grate the Romano Cheese:

  • Sprinkle the freshly grated Romano cheese evenly over the salad, providing a delightful salty note that complements the other ingredients.

4. Prepare the “1905” Dressing:

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, finely minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Continue whisking until these elements meld into a harmonious dressing. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to suit your taste.

5. Drizzle and Toss:

  • Generously drizzle the “1905” dressing over the salad, ensuring that it envelops the ingredients with its captivating flavors.
  • Gently toss the salad, allowing the dressing to coat each component thoroughly, creating a symphony of flavors.

6. Serve with a Citrusy Twist:

  • Present the 1905 Salad with lemon wedges on the side, inviting diners to add a final squeeze of fresh lemon juice over their portions for an extra burst of invigorating citrusy freshness.

Tips: Perfecting Your 1905 Salad

  • For a spicy kick, consider incorporating pickled jalapeño slices or banana peppers into the salad, adding a hint of heat that balances the flavors beautifully.
  • While the 1905 Salad traditionally employs Romano cheese, don’t hesitate to experiment with Parmesan or Asiago for subtle variations in flavor.


The 1905 Salad isn’t just a salad; it’s a delightful journey through Cuban history and flavor. With its medley of fresh ingredients and the lively “1905” dressing, each bite is a testament to the vibrant and enduring culinary heritage of Cuba. Whether enjoyed as a refreshing appetizer, a light and satisfying meal, or a side dish that complements a Cuban feast, this salad represents the essence of the Columbia Restaurant’s legacy and serves as a delicious reminder of days gone by. So, gather your ingredients, savor the flavors, and relish each forkful of this iconic salad—a taste of Cuban history and tradition on your plate.

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