Why I love it: An explosion of crisp lettuce, strips of ham and swiss cheese and tomatoes in a light and lemony dressing. And at home, I can make it without the olives, which I usually pick out. It’s my favorite salad in the world - I crave this, although my nearest Columbia is eight hours away in Celebration, Florida.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Pots and pans: One blender. A bowl for mixing it all together. A cutting board.
Steps and snafus: The key is in the dressing of this salad. Directions to emulsify confused me, so I threw all the ingredients in the blender. The result was better than my previous attempts but still resulted in too much oil and too much lemon juice.
How much I ate: Half a bowl of salad. Unlike at the restaurant, I just got tired of it and thought the salad was too oily.
Who wins: The Columbia - there’s still some secret to this salad that I haven’t figured out.
½ head iceberg lettuce
2 ripe tomatoes, cut in eighths
½ cup Swiss cheese, cut in julienne strips
½ cup ham, cut in julienne strips (or turkey or shrimp)
¼ cup green Spanish olives, pitted
2 teaspoons grated Romano cheese
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin Spanish olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Toss together all salad ingredients in a bowl, except Romano Cheese.
Mix garlic, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Beat until smooth with a wire whisk. Add olive oil, gradually beating to form an emulsion. Stir in vinegar and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Add dressing to salad and toss well. Add Romano Cheese and toss one more time. Serves 4.