I just got back into the USA, so what's the first thing I see after logging in to check up on Vegan MoFo, but an Iron Chef Beet Root Challenge that suddenly sends me right back to Eastern Europe for inspiration. To recreate some of the flavors from my vacation, I pulled out some cabbage, caraway seeds (the ones that make rye bread taste like rye bread), vinegar, and vegan bouillon, and the key ingredient: beet root, for a jazzed up slaw.
2 cups green cabbage, very thinly sliced
Cover cabbage shreds with boiling water then immediately drain in colander.)
1/8 c. cider vinegar
1/8 c. hot water + 1/2 tsp. better-than-bouillon paste
(or whatever bouillon cube or veggie stock you choose)
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 small beet (raw), scrubbed, trimmed and grated on a box cutter
The quick hot water bath softens the cabbage, though it retains a little crunch, and the beet adds color and a lovely sweetness. Though I'm using vinegar here, it's not enough to put this anywhere near sauerkraut territory; and the bouillon and caraway give the dish a depth and richness. This was delicious in a salad bowl, but the leftovers are ideal to garnish a potato pancake.
Oh, yum. This is like being back on the other side of the world, for a taste of Prague, or, as they translated on a banner at the street festival I stumbled upon accidentally last week: "Thus Tastes Prague."