Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Horseradish


Freshly harvested from out back, the root is soaking to get rid of some of the dirt that clings to all the crevices. Rather octopus-like, don't you think? We planted it two years ago, and this is the first root we've dug up.

I remember (many years ago) when our across-the-way neighbors in western Mass. asked if they could dig up some of the horseradish in the field between our house and the church. We didn't even know we had a patch of it! Turned out, we had a lot of it.

I'll never forget the wallop it packed after we ground it up in the food processor. One whiff almost sent us reeling. According to Nikki Duffy in River Cottage Handbook No. 10, Herbs, these fumes "(thiocyanites, if you want to know) are highly volatile, however, and soon lost. That's why freshly grated horseradish, mixed into an acidic stabilising medium, always tastes better than any that's been grated and stored." Her basic method "is to peel a small section of root, grate it ([she uses] a fine Microplane grater) and immediately combine it with enough lemon juice to make a damp (but not wet) mixture." Which is what I'll be doing later today.

5 comments:

meredith said...

Had no idea that's how you made horseradish.

e said...

Lots going on here, too. How is L finding Paris?

colleen said...

And how was it? I do like horseradish, especially with smoked mackerel and fresh pasta.

You may know that horseradish can be found on wasteground, frequently for some reason by railway lines, in the UK. I've been tempted to grow horseradish for years on my allotment, but fear it's tenacity and strength. I just don't want it to take over the place.

nerima roberts said...

Goodness, I'm learning a lot about horseradish here. Did you know that horseradish is packed with very healthy antioxidants?

I adore it, but wish I could find more ways to use it in my diet.

alice said...

Thanks. I got some horseradish with my CSA share recently. I would have been tempted to just process the whole thing, but it's better to keep the root and process as needed?