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Horseradish Recipes and Cultivation

Spice up your life with this zesty root.

| May/June 2009

  • Horseradish in organic garden
    This horseradish plant is about to bloom in an organic garden.
  • Horseradish plants in full bloom
    Aside from adding flavor, horseradish has diuretic and antibiotic properties, which make it a home remedy for mild chronic urinary tract infections.
    Spectrum Photofile
  • Zesty Coleslaw
    Add spice to your cole slaw with horseradish.
    Lori Dunn
  • Pickles, garlic, dill and cucumbers
    Pickles are not complete without garlic, dill and the best cucumbers you can find.
  • Polish Meatballs and Depression Spaghetti
    Inexpensive and easy, Polish Meatballs and Depression Spaghetti makes an excellent meal.
    Lori Dunn
  • Pork and Sauerkraut with Horseradish Mustard
    Pork & Sauerkraut with Horseradish Mustard is a German-influenced summer classic.
    Lori Dunn

  • Horseradish in organic garden
  • Horseradish plants in full bloom
  • Zesty Coleslaw
  • Pickles, garlic, dill and cucumbers
  • Polish Meatballs and Depression Spaghetti
  • Pork and Sauerkraut with Horseradish Mustard

Horseradish is a flavorful herb that has been used for centuries to enhance the flavor of food, aid in its digestion and to keep people healthy. Today, horseradish is best known for adding zesty flavor to condiments of all kinds, and in the United States, the state of Illinois grows more than 50 percent of the annual horseradish crop, which is used to produce about 6 million gallons of ground horseradish.

Horseradish has been used as a folk remedy because of its medicinal qualities. It helps relieve congestion and coughs from colds and sinus infections. It stimulates digestion, which makes it a good partner for meat. Horseradish also has diuretic and antibiotic properties, which make it a home remedy for mild chronic urinary tract infections.

Research at the University of Illinois has shown that horseradish may also help the body resist cancer. Glucosinolates, chemical compounds found in horseradish, facilitate carcinogen removal by the liver. The anticancer effects of the horseradish root are increased when it is processed.

Horseradish thrives in the garden or flower bed and is occasionally found growing along country roads. Horseradish can be invasive in some environments, so be sure to give it plenty of room to spread out. A single piece of root is all that is needed to start a horseradish plant. Horseradish prefers sun and does not like to be constantly wet, but it will thrive on neglect in many less-than-ideal locations. The plant has large leaves, reaches a height of 30 inches and produces a white flower when it blooms. Dig horseradish after the first frost, take the large tap root and leave the small side roots for next year’s crop. 


Horseradish tap roots
White vinegar 
Dig large horseradish tap roots after first frost. Wash and scrape (like carrots). Slice or chunk, place in blender and grind, adding small amounts of vinegar for a good consistency (about 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 cup horseradish). The vinegar preserves the horseradish and enhances the flavor. Vinegar stops the heat-building enzyme activity that grinding causes. If you want hotter horseradish, wait before adding the vinegar; adding the vinegar right away will make the horseradish milder.
For red horseradish, add some pickled beet juice to the mixture.
Note: Be careful when taking the lid off the blender after grinding. It will most likely make your eyes water, take your breath away and probably clear your sinuses, too.
Place the ground horseradish in jelly jars, cap and place in refrigerator or freezer. Use a dab to enhance the flavor of eggs, meats, potatoes, vegetables or sandwiches. 

Try adding this flavorful, healthful herb to your diet and reap the benefits. All ingredients in these recipes can be played with. Add more or less according to your tastes. 

1 small head red or green cabbage
3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 heaping teaspoon horseradish
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons vinegar 
Chop or shred cabbage and place in bowl. Combine mayonnaise, horseradish and pepper. Add vinegar a little at a time and mix until creamy smooth. Pour over cabbage and mix well. Cover and place in refrigerator all day or overnight. Yields 6 to 8 servings. 


2 pounds hamburger
1 large chopped onion
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 to 4 teaspoons horseradish
2 to 4 cloves crushed garlic, or 2 to 4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 to 6 eggs, enough to get a good consistency 
Combine all ingredients, using your hands to blend well. Place in large, flat pan or dish and pat into a shape to fit with an inch of space around meatloaf. Add 1 inch water, cover with foil and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on preferred doneness). Uncover meatloaf 30 minutes before removing from oven to brown top. Place meatloaf on plate and slice to serve. 


For meatballs, use the above recipe. Shape into meatballs and place in frying pan. Brown on all sides over low heat so meatballs cook through. 


For Polish meatballs, use the above recipe and add 1 to 2 teaspoons ground allspice. Make 8 large meatballs and flatten. Place in frying pan with lid and cook on low heat until dark brown on each side. This takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with 1 pound spaghetti, coated with 1 can tomato soup (undiluted). Place soup in large bowl and heat in microwave for 2 to 3 minutes just prior to adding spaghetti.
Note: My son always referred to this dish as Depression spaghetti. My Polish grandmother always made her spaghetti this way. 


2 pounds hamburger
1 or 2 large onions, chopped
8 to 10 slices white or potato bread, broken into small pieces
2 to 4 cloves garlic, or 2 to 4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper
2 to 4 teaspoons horseradish
1 to 2 teaspoons ground allspice
10 to 12 eggs 
Blend all ingredients well until bread has been worked into mixture and is not readily apparent as bread pieces.
Stuff 15 to 22-pound turkey. Place in oven to bake according to timetable on label.
Note: My Polish grandmother always used this unique stuffing for her turkey, and the aroma was distinctive every holiday when we arrived at her house. 


Place 1 cup ketchup in small bowl. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons horseradish and stir well. Great for dipping shrimp or lobster. 


Add 1 to 2 teaspoons horseradish to 1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing. Mix well and serve on hot or cold roast beef. Use as dressing on roast beef, chicken or turkey sandwiches. Great for just dipping pieces of any of the above – bread not required. 


4-pound pork roast, or 6 to 8 pork chops
1 or 2 large cans sauerkraut
3 to 4 tablespoons horseradish mustard, or 1 to 2 tablespoons horseradish and 2 to 3 tablespoons regular mustard
1 can beer 

Ray Allen_2
4/2/2010 8:52:16 PM

I enjoy making my own horseradish sauces in many different formats, including some with some extra spicy peppers,(habanaro) that many of my friends also enjoy! My problem is finding a source in Illinois to buy the raw product. I can get it from the grocery by ordering, but the quality is suspect a lot of the time. Old, dark, rubbery! Does anyone know of a grower in IL that will sell uncleaned root? I would sure appreciate any help I can get! Thanks Ray Allen

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