Garlicky Butter Bath Broccoli and Cauliflower

published Jan 23, 2021
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Garlicky Butter Bath Broccoli and Cauliflower

An easy recipe for broccoli and cauliflower florets simmered in a garlicky buttery bath.


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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Pearl Jones

Broccoli and cauliflower are two of my go-to vegetables for dinner sides — my whole family loves them. But as the family cook, I quickly get bored with our bi-weekly rotation of roasted broccoli or mashed cauliflower. Boiling these two cruciferous vegetables in a garlicky butter bath is my number-one way to love and appreciate them.

I was first introduced to butter bath cooking for corn on the cob. It makes even the best sweet summer corn impossibly better, so just imagine what it can do for basic broccoli and cauliflower (even the pre-cut bagged stuff!). Garlicky butter bath broccoli and cauliflower is going to make you fall back in love with these dinner staples.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

This Butter Boiled Broccoli and Cauliflower Is Anything but Boring

Boiled and steamed vegetables get a bad rap for being too tender and flavorless, but butter bath boiling changes all that. Essentially you’re making a milk and butter broth to cook vegetables in. Add in your favorite spices or aromatics — here, a ton of minced garlic — and the vegetables are infused with robust, unbeatable flavor.

The key to making truly delicious butter bath broccoli and cauliflower is to make sure you don’t overcook it. One-inch florets, like the kind you might find pre-cut in the produce section, take less than 10 minutes to cook. Be sure to test them before draining — a fork should easily pierce their woody stems. Speaking of draining, save a little butter bath. You can serve that garlicky elixir as a sauce for the vegetables.

More butter bath veggie ideas we love: 5 Vegetables You Can Cook in a Butter Bath

Garlicky Butter Bath Broccoli and Cauliflower

An easy recipe for broccoli and cauliflower florets simmered in a garlicky buttery bath.

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    garlic cloves

  • 2 cups


  • 3/4 cup


  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 pound

    broccoli florets

  • 1 pound

    cauliflower florets


  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, mince 4 garlic cloves.

  2. Add the garlic, 3/4 cup milk, 1 stick unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the pot. Carefully add 1 pound broccoli florets and 1 pound cauliflower florets. Reduce the heat to medium and boil, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli and cauliflower are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.