A Biting Horse: Horseradish!

Horseradish is a member of the mustard family, along with kale and turnips, so its bite makes a lot of sense. Its greens are edible but it’s the horseradish root that is cultivated and sold. Horseradish is at its best in fall and winter. Like so many other root vegetables it stores well and is often available in decent shape well into spring.

Store horseradish loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge where it will keep several weeks. Cut pieces, however, should be used immediately, as horseradish turns bitter once cut or grated. The larger piece can be re-wrapped and stored, just cut off and discard the previously cut end before using. For longer-term storage cut horseradish into one-use pieces and store sealed in plastic in the freezer. Another way to keep fresh horseradish around is to peel it, cut it into chunks, put the chunks into a seal-able jar, and cover the horseradish with vinegar. The flavor will soften as it’s stored, but it will keep some of its kick and you’ll have a wonderfully aromatic horseradish vinegar to use as well.

How to Use Horseradish 

The easiest way to use horseradish is to simply cut off the brown peel and shred or grate some fresh horseradish to serve with roasted meats or as a flavoring for hearty soups or stews. Shred as close to serving time as possible to avoid bitterness and discoloration. Freshly shredded horseradish also makes a great addition to mashed potatoes, Bloody Marys, or as a condiment with roasted root vegetables of all sorts. You can also make Horseradish Cream and add it as a delightful swirl into thick soups or serve in place of traditional creamed horseradish.

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