Caraway Seeds Are The Perfect Complement In Your Next Cabbage Dish

Cabbage is a culinary chameleon of epic proportions. As comfortable acting as a pickled condiment as a caramelized side dish, cabbage can work any way you need it. The only downside to this flexible vegetable is that it has a tendency to taste on the bland side of things. Luckily, there's a seasoning that seems tailor-made to add flavorful oomph to your cabbage dish: caraway seeds.

Caraway seeds have a strong flavor, tasting a bit like a crossover of anise and cumin, and are often used to flavor rye bread, pickles, corned beef, and, of course, cabbage. As a culinary pairing, cabbage and caraway seeds aren't just delicious, they're backed up by hundreds of years of history. Central and Eastern Europeans have been using caraway seeds to flavor their numerous cabbage dishes for centuries. Think of the hidden spice behind sauerkraut or a German cabbage and potato casserole. Each time, that light licorice and citrus flavor you taste is courtesy of the aromatic caraway seed, doing what it does best and amping up the natural earthiness of the cabbage. 

An aromatic spice to punch up the flavor

For the simplest way to enjoy the caraway and cabbage taste, try a simple sauté. Shred and core a head of cabbage and sauté it with a little bit of butter, oil, or lard. Once the cabbage starts to brown, you can add your salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. Consider starting with one teaspoon of caraway seeds for every pound of cabbage. Then, taste and adjust the seasoning as you go along. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg for this combo. Try adding a pinch of caraway seeds to your favorite cabbage slaw recipe or to your next batch of homemade sauerkraut. If you want to add a complementary spice to the sauerkraut mix, you can also throw in a bit of juniper, the dried berry that gives gin its classic flavor. But that's just an added bonus. You can also stir caraway seeds into a cabbage-based soup or even add them to the filling of a cabbage-filled hand pie. Basically, anytime a recipe calls for cabbage, this versatile seed has a place on the ingredient list. All you really need to unlock the full potential of your cabbage is a little bit of caraway.