Tuesday, February 19, 2013
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.