Thursday 29 March 2012

Fresh Horseradish

What with learning more about Passover traditions and trying to change up our family dinner menus, horseradish has been on my mind lately.  It’s a great relish all on its own and adds zest to all sorts of dishes when used as a seasoning.  It is often that ingredient that people can’t identify in a dish that they really enjoy.

I was very pleased when my friend Susan offered me some fresh horseradish.  Her neighbour had given it to her but she’d never prepared horseradish from scratch so she passed it on to me. 

This is Susan

and this is the horseradish she gave me.

There was a lot of it!

Unlike the large roots I’m accustomed to buying, this horseradish was mostly a tangle of smaller roots. 

I decided to work in batches.  Susan and I made the first batch together. 

I trimmed some of the roots from the clump and cleaned them.  After several soaks in the sink and a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush, they looked like this:

We peeled the horseradish roots, then shredded them using the fine shredding disk in my food processor.

We measured the shredded horseradish

then we fitted the food processor with its chopping blade and returned the shredded horseradish to the processor carafe.  We added 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar for every cup of shredded horseradish and began processing it. 

We continued to add vinegar and to process the horseradish until it reached the consistency we wanted.  (We ended up using a total of about 1/4 cup of vinegar for every cup of shredded horseradish.)

In the course of processing, the horseradish broke down further, into a fine texture, and reduced in volume by about half.  It was still coarser than the horseradish you buy in the store.  If you like a very smooth paste, I would recommend using a blender instead of a food processor.

When it was done, we spooned the horseradish into sterilized jars

and capped them with sterilized lids.

Horseradish prepared in this manner will keep in the fridge for about two months.  It can be used just as it is, mixed with an equal quantity of shredded raw beet, or stirred into Dijon mustard. 

I saved some of the horseradish for replanting.  It’s very invasive so I’ll grow mine in a large container.  As long as I replant a small portion of it every time I dig it up, I’ll have a perpetual supply of horseradish for as long as I care to use it.

A word of warning:  The fumes from horseradish are very pungent.  They'll clear your sinuses and bring tears to your eyes.  A good ventilation fan helps buy you're still likely to cry while processing it.  Do persevere though.  The flavour is well worth the effort.
This post is linked to Hearth and Soul Blog Hop hosted by Premeditated Leftovers, The 21st Century Housewife, Zesty South Indian Kitchen, and Penniless Parenting.

 Hearth and Soul blog hop at Zesty South Indian Kitchen


April J Harris said...

I've never had fresh horseradish - it sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive tutorial on how to make one of my favourite condiments from scratch!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you found it helpful. I am going to add a note of caution. The fumes from horseradish are extremely pungent. They'll clear your sinuses and bring tears to your eyes. Still, the flavour is worth the effort.

Thanks for hosting Hearth and Soul. I'm looking forward to seeing the new links this week.

Alea Milham said...

I have never made fresh horseradish but my husband loves it. I am so glad you shared this tutorial. I look forward to giving it a try.

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you found it helpful Alea. :)