Horseradish roots and leaves are edible, both raw and cooked.
But get it wrong and you’ll have a spice explosion on your taste buds.
So here are some top tips and simple recipes for making the most of fresh horseradish.
Horseradish roots aren’t easy to come by, unless they are part of a sugary, pasteurised jar of sauce. And finding fresh leaves is a rare treat. Luckily it’s easy to grow your own.
Once you have some, here are some simple recipe ideas and preparation tips.
Horseradish roots have a strong, pungent, spicy flavour that can make your eyes water and your nose run! The leaves are a more subtle version of the flavour.
Roots keep for a week or two in a cool, dry place. But horseradish leaves are best used as soon as possible, before they wilt.
How to prepare horseradish root.
- Some people need to use gloves to handle the fresh root, as the juice may irritate their skin. As with chillies, you definitely don’t want to get horseradish juice in your eyes or up your nose… 😉
- If the skin is thin and fresh, you can eat the root with it intact. If it’s thicker and tighter, you can use a potato peeler to remove it.
- For most recipes, you’ll want to finely slice your horseradish root – if it’s going to be liquidised. They are pretty tough. For use in sauces and dressings, you can grate it, instead, but it’ll probably make your eyes water and clear your sinuses! (One of its many health benefits!)
- You’ll probably only want to use 5-10 grams (1/4 ounce) of root per person – less is definitely more, especially if you have a pungent root.
Q: Can I freeze horseradish root?
Yes you can. I suggest grating it first, because then it will defrost faster, and put it in a sealed container, so it doesn’t stink out your freezer!
Recipes for horseradish root.
Here are some quick and easy recipes for horseradish roots.
- Horseradish sauce
Grate 1 tablespoon of root. Mix with 2 tablespoons of oil (e.g. Olive or flax). Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey or other sweetener. Cover and leave to marinate for a few hours. Use as a condiment. Keeps for a few days in a sealed jar in the fridge.
- Beetroot and horseradish salad.
Grate about 1 teaspoon of horseradish. Grate 2-3 beet roots (smallish, so they’re sweet and tender). Mix together with 1 tablespoon code vinegar, if you like. Serve the same day.
- Vegetable sauces
Add about 1 teaspoon per person to sauces for vegetables, at the end of cooking, to add a pungent, spicy kick. You might want less, if your roots are fresh and juicy – the flavour is stronger!
Add 1 teaspoon of chopped root to a smoothie, for a taste experience with extra health benefits.
And I’m about to experiment with fermenting the roots. Watch this space! I’ll report back.
How to prepare horseradish leaves.
Fresh is best – grow your own, if you have space.
Pick small leaves in spring, for eating raw.
Larger leaves can get quite tough, so you might want to steam them first.
Horseradish leaf recipes
Here are some simple recipes for horseradish leaves.
Use small fresh leaves raw in salads.
Chop leaves finely to use in salad dressings.
- Spice up your veggies
Chop and add to vegetables, just before eating.
- Unique pesto
For an unusual variation on pesto, use a handful of leaves (small, young and sweet work best) to instead of basil to make a pesto.
Add a handful of leaves -younger or more mature – to your favourite smoothie for a spicy nutrient hit.
Add a handful per person of horseradish leaves to a soup recipe, just before liquidizing.
Do you have a favourite recipe for horseradish roots or leaves?
I’d love to hear from you, via the comments box.
With love, Namaste,
Clare Josa, Mentor To Passionate World-Changers. Author of Dare To Dream Bigger
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