Among my many idiosyncrasies is my unabashed love of caraway seed. There are only a couple of spices that I am in love with , and caraway is one of them. (Don’t tell cardamom…she will get jealous!)
In the west caraway seeds are most associated with breads, notably rye bread. Those who find rye bread disagreeable can blame the caraway. The flavor is heady, like a strong combination of thyme and dill, and is sometimes considered an acquired taste.
Caraway is found in all kinds of foods throughout northern Europe and Scandinavia, paired often with cabbage and root vegetables, meats, cheeses, and even fruits. It is also a major component of aquavit, a herbal Scandinavian distilled liquor.
Caraway is an ancient herb. It was found among Neolithic ruins of Europe, and it was known in the Middle Ages as a useful anti-gas remedy. Aren’t you glad you know that now! You never know when you may be trapped somewhere with nothing but gas and caraway.
The seed is the most commonly used part of the herb, but the rest is used too. The stems and leaves have a mild flavor similar to parsley. The roots have a sweet, parsnip flavor and can be cooked and eaten boiled or fried.
As with all spices, it is better to toast and grind whole spices as needed. Ground spices loose their flavor and aroma rapidly.
The flavors of this dish are so deliciously complimentary, this is destined to be a new family favorite. It makes a terrific accompaniment to roasted poultry, pork, or sausage.
4 TB. butter
1 TB. caraway seed, crushed
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. sea salt
- In a large sauté pan, melt butter over high heat. Add caraway seed and toast until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add fennel and apples, reduce heat, and continue cooking until everything is golden brown and caramelized.
- Deglaze with white wine, and cook until liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat, add salt, and serve warm.