Recipe Review

I Tried the Viral 1905 Salad and It’s My New Favorite Make-Ahead Lunch

published Aug 28, 2022
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Credit: Rachel Dolfi

Tucked away in the Ybor City area of Tampa, Florida, is a legendary spot called Columbia Restaurant. I was fortunate to go there myself, about eight years ago, and tried everything from their luscious seafood paella to their vibrant 1905 salad, which is assembled tableside. Why is it called 1905, you ask? That’s the year the restaurant opened. Considering this recipe is 117 years old, I figured I should try it out.  

I originally saw Kathy Quad’s perfect step-by-step video for the salad while late-night scrolling on TikTok (a shock to no one). Now, if you’re like me and are slightly daunted by the sheer volume of ingredients, don’t be too alarmed! There’s not a huge amount of knife work and it does use a good amount of pantry staples. 

How to Make 1905 Salad

The dressing itself is a mixture of avocado oil, a light vinegar such as red and/or white wine, lemon juice, aromatics like garlic and oregano, and, the secret ingredient, Worcestershire sauce.

I know a lot of people hate on iceberg, but I think it’s making a serious comeback. It doesn’t have a ton of flavor inherently, but shredded iceberg lettuce is the perfect cold, crunchy vehicle for a bright, assertive dressing like this one. Plus, it plays a bit of a background role to the other punchy flavors going here, like the red onion and Spanish olives, allowing the toppings to speak for themselves. 

Aside from making the dressing, you’ll need to slice some onion, a big handful of tomatoes, and some ham. The salad components are added to the largest bowl you have in your house, then showered with a veritable mountain of Parmesan cheese. Add a glug of dressing, mix, top with crunchy croutons, mix again, and voila! Dinner (or lunch) is served.

Credit: Rachel Dolfi

My Honest Review of the 1905 Salad

Overall, I loved this salad. Between the crunchy croutons, the crispy lettuce, and the meaty olives, it’s an explosion of texture. Although it’s a bit of work upfront, it feeds a huge amount of people and keeps longer than most dressed salads. If you like a robust, vinegary salad, you’re going to love the 1905. 

Although there’s a grand total of seven ingredients in this dressing, each element plays its own unique role. I love that there are two types of acid used in it — both vinegar and lemon juice — which is something I do often in my own dressings at home. It also uses raw garlic *and* garlic salt. So if you’re the type of person who usually adds another four cloves on top of whatever the recipe calls for, this is for you!

If You’re Going to Make the 1905 Salad, Some Tips

  • Make it ahead. I made the salad dressing and prepared the onion and ham the day before. Then, when it was time to assemble, all I had to do was chop my lettuce, slice a few tomatoes, and toast the croutons. Breaking up the prep is the way to go.
  • Swap in olive oil. Although this recipe calls for avocado oil, I think extra-virgin olive oil would work just as well.