Across the nation, from Massachusetts, where the idea of the greatest university was first conceived at the most appropriate of places, a bar, to California, where Bobcats celebrate football season, likely in a bar, and every state in-between, even around the globe, Bobcats never hesitate to show off their green and white pride.
With clambake and lobster fest season upon us, it is only fitting that I get in on the action. All the way in Massachusetts, the Ohio University Alumni Association’s Massachusetts Chapter is keeping the traditions of the chapter alive by celebrating with a lobster fest of their own, the first annual Cutler’s Lobster Fest, named after a founder of Ohio University. In honor of this celebration, I saw it as only fitting to create a green and white recipe that any Bobcat (or non-Bobcat) could create alongside their very own lobster bake at home.
I picked up some fresh broccoli and cauliflower from a local grocery market to mimic Ohio University’s green and white school colors. You can choose whatever kinds of toppings you’d like on your salad, but the dressing – made with vinegar and thick Greek yogurt, is the true key to this delicious recipe.
One of the most important steps to cooking broccoli perfectly is having an ice bath ready to dunk the broccoli into immediately after removing it from the boiling water to instantly stop the cooking process. I made sure to prepare mine first so the water temperature is nice and cold when the broccoli and cauliflower is ready to transfer over.
Boil the cauliflower first, so it doesn’t risk getting stained green by the broccoli while it cooks. After letting it boil for 5-10 minutes, transfer it to the ice bath as you bring the water back to a rolling boil. It should be just soft enough to poke a fork into with little pressure.
Add the broccoli to the water and keep a close eye on it. When the water begins to boil again, the broccoli will have turned a brighter green, and should be fork tender, after 2-4 minutes. Quickly transfer it to the ice bath to halt the cooking process from making the broccoli mushy!
Drain the broccoli and cauliflower from the ice bath and chill as you prepare the dressing.
To make the dressing, combine the Greek yogurt, vinegar, and half of the bacon, sunflower seeds, sliced shallots, and raisins. Save the other half for sprinkling on top when it comes time to bust out the salad at the lobster bake.
Gently toss the broccoli salad in the dressing with the drained white corn in a large bowl until the broccoli and cauliflower is completely covered.
Top the salad with the fried onions and remaining raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon.
The flavors of this salad are delicate enough to compliment the taste of savory lobster perfectly – and not only is it a perfect companion to seafood, it can be a healthy alternative to greasy tailgating food, too! Go Bobcats!!
RECIPE UPDATE: This recipe can now be found in dining halls on campus – so be sure to get a taste if you can!
OHIO Bobcat Broccoli Salad
- Chop the broccoli and cauliflower heads into bite sized florets. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath. Add the cauliflower first, boil for 5-10 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer to the ice bath with a slotted spoon to stop the cauliflower from overcooking.
- Bring the water to a boil again, then and the broccoli. When the water reaches a boil again, or after 2-3 minutes when the broccoli is bright green and tender, remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon and add into the ice bath with the cauliflower to stop the cooking process. Drain and chill the broccoli and cauliflower.
- Prepare the dressing by combining three tablespoons of white vinegar with the Greek yogurt. Stir until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of golden raisins, half of the sliced shallot, and half of the sunflower seeds and crumbled bacon. Chill until serving time.
- In a large serving bowl, toss the broccoli and cauliflower with the white corn. Pour the dressing over the florets and use salad utensils to gently toss the salad until the florets are completely coated in dressing.
- Top the salad with fried onions and the remaining golden raisins, bacon, sunflower seeds. Enjoy alongside a perfectly cooked lobster while watching Bobcat football!