This fiery root is a member of the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) family, which includes cabbage, radish, and mustard. Horseradish is native to Eastern Europe. It is a perennial plant with edible leaves that grow to a height of about 1 to 1½ metres and a fleshy taproot that looks like long thin parsnips. The roots contain an essential oil similar to that found in mustard, and it is this oil that gives it the sharp, pungent tangy taste.
Horseradish is best used freshly grated and raw, just be wary, the finer it is chopped or grated, the more powerful and intense the flavour. Add it to soups, salads, seafood, sauces and braises just before serving. It goes exceptionally well with potato, beetroot, oily fish including salmon and tuna, celery, parsnips, roast meats and eggs. Mix it with mayonnaise, cream or yoghurt and serve with smoked fish, baked potatoes or as a salad dressing. The young and tender green leaves can be used in salads, and don’t forget to spice up your Bloody Mary with it!
Fresh horseradish keeps well for weeks wrapped in a damp paper towel and plastic bag in the refrigerator and it also freezes well.
Did you know: Horseradish will tarnish silver so when serving horseradish, don’t use the good silver!