Broccoli and Cauliflower with Garlic

Sans the cauliflower, this is a rare Ina Garten butter free recipe that I got from The Barefoot Contessa cookbook. I prefer this salad served very cold and spicy with the addition of toasted whole chili in the garlic oil. Come to think of it, a few sesame seeds on top won’t hurt either.

Broccolli and Cauliflower Salad (Ina Garten)

I saw Ina do this recipe in an episode where she and her neighbors/family (whose kids are those?) had a picnic at the beach. She packed the salad in little Chinese takeout boxes and served them with sweet chicken wings and lemon bars for dessert. Lovely menu, but the day was the most beach-unfriendly day ever, what with the wind blowing so hard, and the skies so gray, and the kids bundled up in scarves and coats. The adults were doing their best to hang on to the picnic blanket and giving their bravest smiles for the camera. At least lunch was wonderful.


Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa cookbook. 


  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 stalks broccoli and cauliflower, cut into florets (8 cups florets)
  • Pinch of chili flakes 
  • Optional:
    • 1- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
    • 1 – 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • More chili flakes or finger chili


  • Put the garlic cloves and oil in  a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and cook uncovered over low heat for 10-15 minutes until the garlic is browned and tender. Be careful not to overcook. 
  • Optional: If desired, you can have one whole finger chili toast with the garlic for more heat. 
  • Turn off the heat and add the red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Immediately pour into a heat proof container to stop cooking. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Optional: If desired, adjust dressing taste by adding a little bit of fish sauce for a salty umami flavor and a squeeze of calamansi to brighten the flavor. 


  • Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender.
  • Drain well and immerse immediately into a large bowl of ice water until the vegetables are no longer warm. Drain well. This step is very important if you do not want gray broccoli. 
  • In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup of the oil used to cook the garlic and the cooked garlic cloves.
  • Taste for seasoning and serve cold or at room temperature.

2 thoughts on “Broccoli and Cauliflower with Garlic

  1. Pingback: Broccoli & Bacon Salad.. | Keli Paan

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