Pickling Horseradish

| 12/18/2012 10:38:20 AM

Sheryl NormandeauLike coriander or capers, horseradish root packs a flavor that divides taste buds – you either like it or you don’t.

I happen to be one of those who love the hot, spicy kick, but only in very small amounts.  As my husband absolutely loathes horseradish, it’s not really worth it to grow it just for myself.

It’s probably just as well, as this very cold hardy (to zone 2) perennial has the potential to spread like crazy in the garden.  Horseradish needs just a tiny segment of buried root to form new plants.  You can check the progress of aggressive plants by completely removing the roots for harvest in autumn.  Apparently, it’s a far better idea to grow horseradish in containers – but they have to be very deep and large to accommodate each plant’s large taproot.

Horseradish is one of the most low-maintenance members of the genus Brassica, which includes cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.  Once established, there’s no need to water horseradish unless there is a long period of drought, and no applications of fertilizer are necessary.   Give plants a full sun location and they should perform mightily.  Just watch out for cabbage worms, a common Brassica pest.  

Horseradish root
Horseradish root  

We recently received a fairly sizeable chunk of horseradish root as part of our bi-weekly CSA share, and I was initially flummoxed as to what to do with it all!  It’s not recommended to freeze whole pieces, so after gifting a couple of slices to some horseradish-loving co-workers, I set out to pickle my leftovers.  Here’s how I did it:

Sheryl Normandeau
2/12/2013 3:20:13 AM

Yes, I find it much easier to let the food processor handle it - it's seriously strong stuff! Thanks so much for your comment, I appreciate it!

Sheryl Normandeau
2/12/2013 3:18:52 AM

Thank you, Nebraska Dave, for your warm welcome to the GRIT blogging community! I'm very pleased to meet everyone here! I love your story about your Mom making your Dad grate the horseradish himself! It is amazingly potent.... :)

Sheryl Normandeau
2/12/2013 3:16:18 AM

You're very welcome! Glad to meet another fan of horseradish! Thanks so much for your comment!

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