In anticipation of the great food holiday of Thanksgiving, I'm going to post several food-related items. I'm not necessarily suggesting these items for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner but they all come from a late Autumn harvest. We'll start with the humble but hot horseradish root.
The Horseradish Plant
Last spring I planted horseradish in the garden. I planted a section of root and its green leaves, tightly bunched, grew over summer. With colder weather, the leaves died off and the root can be harvested. This past weekend, I dug out a small piece and set out to make my own prepared or preserved horseradish.
The Peeled Root
You can see the root at the top of the photo. First, I cleaned and peeled the root. It is a lot like a cross between carrot and parsnip. Then I diced it. Wondering how it tasted raw, I chewed a small piece of the root. It was like a flash of white lightning. Very sharp, coming on in a sudden burst, a bit like wasabi but different. I spit it out, and then immediately regretted doing so. It's cool-hot like a radish, but it really is a horse of a radish.
The Prepared Horseradish
Next I put the diced horseradish root in a food processor, added cider vinegar, and gave it a whirl. That's all it took. As you can see from the photo, the result is milky white.
Next time, I will try to grate the horseradish instead of dicing it. The chunks of the horseradish from the food processor were a bit too coarse.
Now, this prepared horseradish can be tasted as is, and it is tasty. I could also add the horseradish to ketchup with some lemon juice for shrimp. Honestly I could skip the shrimp altogether and just lap up the horseradish sauce. It's a nice ingredient to add to salad dressings, especially Asian style dressings. Of course, it's an ingredient in Bloody Mary mix. My favorite horseradish application, though, is on a good piece of beef, like prime rib. I don't know how it would mix with turkey but I might just try it. Let me know if you have any ideas.