Horseradish used to gross me out. I would never, I repeat NEVER eat the stuff. What was wrong with me? Now I love it!
Here’s what happened. I moved into a new house that has a really cool backyard. The previous owners were both botanists and so there are about a million different things growing out there. I actually had an expert come to my house to help me identify everything. Through him I learned that about 90% of what is growing in my backyard is either edible or medicinal in some way or an another. I have a really cool yard! I like to try and use everything that grows out there which brings me back to the horseradish.
When doing my research on making it, I got a little scared! Apparently it can burn you and choke you. People say that when you start to peel and cut up the root, you should have the windows open, fans blowing away from you and out the windows, wear gloves, a mask and goggles. What?!?! Holy cow! Luckily I’ve never had any problems when preparing it but I am also very careful. I wear rubber gloves, tie a handkerchief around my face and wear sunglasses. I’ve also been known to just sport a paintball mask (works pretty good)! I usually have the windows and doors open but if it’s not raining or freezing, I will do all of the peeling and cutting outside.
The best time of the year to dig up your horseradish is in the Fall, after the first. By timing your dig in this way, the taste will be amazing! It’s hot, but not too hot. What you get more than heat is the actual flavor of the horseradish. I eat it with everything that I can. Beef, pork, chicken, salmon – heck, I would eat it on ice cream or strawberries if I could (well, I guess that I could but that would just be weird). My ratio of horseradish to meat is 2/3 horseradish and 1/3 meat. You could say that I am deeply and madly in love with a root and it’s name is Horseradish.
1 cup peeled, chopped horseradish root
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 TBSP granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Begin by wearing plastic gloves, eye protection and mouth protection and then make sure that you are going to be working in a well ventilated area.
Wash horseradish root. Peel the root with a vegetable peeler. Cut into 1/2 inch chunks and immediately place into a bowl of cold water (this helps to keep it from darkening).
Once the horseradish is peeled and cut, place in a blender. Add vinegar, sugar and salt. Blend on high speed until desired consistency. If more liquid is needed, add more white vinegar one tablespoon at a time until correct (I’ve noticed that some of my home grown root is woodier and my liquids will need to be adjusted accordingly).
Place in glass jar and store in the refigerator.