Mostly grown for its seeds, Caraway’s root and leaves are also edible. A biennial plant which produces seeds the second season after planting, Caraway forms a rosette of leaves 8-10 inches tall which resembles a carrot with a long tap root. On the second season, the plant grows to 2-3 feet tall and produces a large, flat-topped flower head with white flowers.
Caraway is grown from seed and prefers a full sun location in well-drained soil with a high percentage of organic matter. Caraway is best directly sown in the garden as it is difficult to transplant successfully. Keep seed bed moist as seed is slow to germinate. Plants also benefit from soils that are kept uniformly moist. The first season the plant will produce a rosette of foliage resembling carrot and then the plant will die back with frosts. In the spring, growth will resume and the plant will flower and develop a seed stalk.
Roots of caraway can be boiled and used like parsnips or carrot. Fresh leaves can be harvested as needed and used in salads, soups, and stews or eaten like spinach. Seeds are used in baking, slaws, cheese, and potato dishes. Caraway offers a licorice flavor.