Caraway is a biennial plant with feather-like leaves and fruits (commonly referred to as caraway seeds) that can be harvested and used in various ways. Caraway can also be used as an essential oil. It is said that caraway seeds and oils can help aid digestion as well as add flavor to recipes. It is also known for its ability to repel certain insects, such as flies. You can eat just about every part of this plant, as the seeds, leaves, and roots all have culinary uses.
Planting, Growing, and Harvesting:
Caraway likes areas with full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Seeds may be slow to germinate, taking up to a couple weeks. This plant will not finish its growth cycle until the second year, and it will start off small in the first year. It can, however, grow up to 30” high.
You can begin harvesting the seeds of the caraway plant after the second year. Harvest the caraway seeds when they are deep brown in color, and make sure to let them dry out thoroughly. You may also wish to freeze the seeds to kill any insects or insect eggs that could be present. You can also use the leaves as a seasoning for foods. The roots of the caraway plant can be cooked like a root vegetable and eaten.
Recipes/How to Use:
Use the leaves of the caraway plant to flavor soups and salads. The seeds of the plant can be added to breads, roasted vegetables, and meats. Caraway seeds are often found in rye bread recipes, and can also be steeped into a tea. Boil the roots of the plant and eat them like you would carrots or other root vegetables.
Cabbage with Caraway Seeds
1 head of cabbage
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
- Add water and some salt to a large pot and heat.
- Cut the head of cabbage and tear into large pieces, discarding the core.
- Add cabbage to boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes. Drain water, then add the butter and let it melt over the hot cabbage leaves.
- Add caraway seeds and pepper to the cabbage and serve. Serves 4.