Originally native to Eastern Europe, this herb now grows abundantly in the US as well. Grated bottled and creamed horseradish is available, as well as a dried form, which must be reconstituted before using.
This ancient herb (one of the five bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover festival). It is grown mainly for its pungent spicy roots.
Fresh horseradish is in many supermarkets. Choose roots that are firm with no sign of blemishes or withering. The roots should be peeled and grated before using. Store in the refrigerator in plastic bags.
It's most often grated and used in sauces or as a condiment with fish or meat. Mix with sour cream for a tasty sauce for brisket or roast beef or use as a sandwich spread.
Cultivation of Horseradish
Site: Horseradish likes an open sunny position with light, well dug, rich and moist soil.
Propagation: Start by planting horseradish in the fall or very early spring. Make holes with a dibber about two feet apart. Use root pieces (thongs) that are 1/2" width in diameter and about 6 long. Plant vertically in soil, at a depth of 2 inches.
Growing: Thin out or transplant to 12 inches apart. Do not try growing horseradish indoors. One to three plants will be more than enough for a home garden.
Harvesting: Dig up roots as needed or in October, lift all the plants and store the roots in sand for use and for replanting in spring. Pick young leaves for immediate usage.
Culinary Uses: Young leaves can be used in salads. Roots can be used to make horseradish sauce to accompany roast beef, ham and smoked or oily fish and shellfish. Grate into coleslaw, dips, cocktail sauce, pickled beets, cream cheese, sour cream or avocado fillings. NOTE: Grating horseradish is an unpleasant and eye-watering job - make life easier by using the shredder attachment of a food processor to do the grating for you.