For a few years now, we’ve been growing horseradish at Tulipwood. The odd thing though is that we haven’t been harvesting it. It just keeps growing and growing, and we keep adding a bit of chicken manure on there which it loves, but we have never really stopped to enjoy the fruits of this particular harvest. That is, until this year! Somehow we stopped to take notice amongst the many other busy fall happenings on the land and I made Homemade Horseradish. It was so darn good that I vowed to never let this oversight happen again! Keep reading to see how my harvest and recipe experiment went, and to make some of this for yourself.
Horseradish is packed with beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals. These components have been found to have antioxidant characteristics that boost the strength of the immune system and stimulate the activity and production of white blood cells, the body’s main line of defense. The vitamin C content of horseradish is also impressively high.
This is what the horseradish root looks like. It has fairly large green leaves that stick out of the soil above the root. The root is what you use to make the horseradish sauce.
Although now you have me thinking about those leaves, I wonder if they would be good mixed into a winter vegetable stew, maybe they would give it some kick.
We decided to thin out the horseradish while we were harvesting some of it.
All this meant was to separate some of the clumps that had formed and distribute them more evenly.
I think this will allow us to have even more of this tasty stuff next year.
We took a few big roots back to the kitchen and got to work.
First I let them soak in a sink full of water.
Then I used a scrub brush and scrubbed off as much of the dirt as I could.
Then I peeled the root. This homemade horseradish activates once it is grated so you still don’t get that pungent flavor quite yet.
The act of grating the root is what activates the horseradish flavor. You can do this on a box grater or a grater attachment in a food processor. The breakdown of those plant cells releases enzymes that break down the sinigrin found in the root. That is where the strong mustard flavor comes from.
Once grated, you can switch to the blending attachment so it is more uniform in texture.
That’s when you also mix in the water, vinegar and salt.
The key to this homemade horseradish is to let it sit in the jar in the refrigerator so the flavors can develop. It was really strong at first so be careful not to touch your eyes and eat it in small doses.
It will mellow out over time. And you’ll find yourself putting it on sandwiches, beans, soups, you name it! It’s incredibly delicious, on a whole other level from the store bought stuff. And quite gratifying to make when you’ve had a chance to grow it yourself. Try growing some this planting season, once you do, it will keep coming up year after year. It really is the horseradish gift that keeps on giving.
- Horseradish root soaked, scrubbed and peeled
- 6 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 teaspoons salt
- Soak and scrub horseradish.
- Cut off leaves peel off skin.
- Grate it through a food processor with the grater attachment or by hand. Grating it will activate the horseradish intensity.
- Then use the standard food processor attachment and pulse until the consistency is uniform.
- Add the water, vinegar and salt and pulse for a few seconds. Then carefully transfer with a spoon to a pint sized mason jar. Seal with a tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator.