This weekend I was cleaning up the backyard; putting away the lawn furniture and trimming some of the foliage that had accumulated over the last few weeks. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the horseradish plant overtaking the spot that we had planted it in. Last year we had promised ourselves that we would dig it up and make ourselves some homemade horseradish. Well, as often happens, we neglected to dig it up and the large leaves withered away and we wondered if it would come up again this year. It came up better than the year before. If it was not for the unseasonable seventy degree day in October I would not have even remembered to dig up the plant. However, I caught sight of it and decided to prepare the horseradish once and for all.
I trimmed away the foliage and had only root left. Taking my spade I dug in the soil and pulled out a large horseradish root. I left a little in the ground in the hopes that it would come up again next year. With the root in hand I hosed off the dirt and brought it inside to finally get it prepared.
With the dirt washed off I began to cut the excess sections and growth off and then cut the roots into manageable portions so I could peel them. Using a normal household peeler I took off the skin so I could cut each peeled root into smaller sections.
The next step was the easiest because I just needed to cut each root into smaller portions so that they could be placed in the food processor. What I realized is that horseradish not only has a distinct flavor but also a distinct and potent aroma one that, when you are dicing it up or peeling it, makes your eyes tear up. Be careful when cutting the root because you can forget how powerful it is.
Placing the small sections of horseradish into the food processor I simply added cold water just over the blades and a small amount of crushed ice. Blending it until the horseradish was broken up. At this time I could visibly smell the unmistakable aroma of processed horseradish filtering out of the food processor. There are a few options at this point. If you like a milder horseradish you can wait 3-4 minutes and add the salt and vinegar to stop the horseradish from getting any more potent. The salt and vinegar counteract the natural process as the root breaks down. The other option is to wait 6-8 minutes so the mixture gets more potent then add your salt and vinegar. Whatever way you like best just make sure you are prepared for the outcome. That was it, a simple process to prepare fresh horseradish root from your garden. It took about 20 minutes to prepare and I am just waiting until we can use the prepared concoction on wonderful beef pot roast. I can hardly wait.
- 1 cup Horseradish Peeled & Cubed
- 3/4 cup White Vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- In an electric food processor or blender, process horseradish root, vinegar, sugar and salt. Carefully remove the cover of the processor or blender, keeping your face away from the container. Cover and store the horseradish in the refrigerator.