The Distinctive Flavor Of Horseradish

Horseradish is a root vegetable in the mustard family and is related to the milder tasting Brussels sprout, cauliflower, and kale. Evidence of its existence date back to the days of ancient Egypt and both the leaves and the roots were used for medicinal purposes before their discovery as a culinary delight. Horseradish was not heard of in the US until much later during colonial times when it was first used as a condiment.

When it comes to using horseradish in recipes it tends to taste best when raw and freshly grated. To save yourself some time and elbow grease, use a food processor to grate horseradish after cutting the peeled root into cube sized pieces. You will need to prepare horseradish in a well ventilated area and keep the grated horseradish at arm’s length to avoid burning your eyes and nose.

Remember that the finer horseradish is grated or chopped the more pungent the flavor and aroma will be.

If a recipe calls for horseradish, grate the root vegetable as close to serving time as possible to keep it from taking on a bitter taste. Vinegar helps to neutralize the taste so use more if you find that your horseradish is too strong.

Add in salt and white vinegar to taste while grating and for a classic horseradish that is perfect for serving with beef based dishes, also whip in some heavy cream and season with a few sprinkles of dill weed and just a pinch of sugar.

To serve horseradish with pork based dishes, stir in some apple sauce just after grating. Creamy horseradish is also great for adding flavor and interest to thick soups or mashed potatoes. You can also use horseradish on sandwiches and in salads.

You may store horseradish in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid for up to six weeks. Never serve horseradish using silver spoons or dishes, as the pungent food will tarnish the silver.

Apple Horseradish Soup Recipe

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 Golden Delicious apples, skin on, cored, chopped
  • 2 cups of apple juice
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of horseradish
  • 1 dash fresh nutmeg, grated

How to Make It

In a medium sized soup or stockpot, gently heat the butter, chopped onions, and sliced garlic for about 3 minutes.

Add in the chopped apples, the apple juice, white wine, salt, black pepper, horseradish, and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and stir gently to mix well.

Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the apples have started to soften.

Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup then strain it through a fine strainer and discard any large pieces.

Transfer the pureed apple horseradish soup back to the pot and simmer over low for about 10 minutes and then serve immediately.

Serves 4

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