Cabbage salad, known as káposztasaláta, holds a cherished place in Hungarian cuisine, particularly during the winter months when fresh vegetables may be scarce. Cabbage becomes a vital and economical source of vitamins during this season, offering a crisp and hearty base for the salad. Its affordability makes it a popular choice, as it can be easily procured and stored throughout the winter.
The dressing for this cabbage salad is a simple yet flavorful combination of water, vinegar, and sugar, which is heated up until it starts to boil, then it’s cooled until it reaches 80°C / 176°F. This warm dressing not only softens the cabbage slightly, enhancing its texture, but also infuses the dish with a delightful tangy sweetness. To further elevate the flavor profile, cabbage is seasoned with salt and toasted caraway seeds.