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How to Tame this Spicy Root Vegetable

Horseradish might look like an unremarkable root vegetable, but if you’ve ever experienced its fiery wrath, you’ll know that this brassica bites back. 

Most of us will be more familiar with the lonely supermarket jar of horseradish and vinegar lurking at the back of the fridge, patiently awaiting the company of a succulent side of roast beef. But fresh horseradish is worth so much more.

If you’ve not yet made your own horseradish sauce, it’s so rewarding to release that zingy pepperiness fresh from the root. Plus it’s the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat and great for waking up side dishes and winter salads.

What is Horseradish?

This brown and knobbly root vegetable with a crisp white interior has a long and international history. It’s a member of the mustard family, but it’s nostril blasting tendencies will remind you of a close relative, fiery wasabi. In fact, fake wasabi is often nothing more than horseradish and green food colouring.

How to cook with horseradish

Horseradish is best used raw as cooking destroys its pungent properties. The magic happens when the compounds in the horseradish are activated when the ivory flesh is shredded or grated.

Here are some simple recipe ideas to get taming this spicy root vegetable in your kitchen:

Horseradish sauce recipe

How to make Creme fraiche horseradish sauce
Simply peel a horseradish and grate coarsely, break down further with a knife. Place the horseradish in a bowl and add in some good quality creme fraiche, mix and season with salt and pepper, add a drop of red wine vinegar and stir through. Taste for heat strength and add more horseradish accordingly.

The sauce will keep sealed in the fridge for a week. Jo from River Cafe in London shows how it’s done in the clip below:


Potato Pancakes with horseradish cream

Start the day in a decadent way with these pancakes stacked with salmon, caviar and horseradish cream. Find the recipe here


Rib of Beef with Horseradish Yorkshire puddings

Roast beef and horseradish are one of the most classic pairings, but as usual, Ramsay comes up with a flavourful twist on a favourite:

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Give your mash a kick by adding some heat with horseradish.  Boil your potatoes as you usually would for mash, add butter and season before stirring through freshly shredded horseradish. Find the epicurious recipe here.

Horseradish deviled eggs 

Give your eggs a devilishly hot surprise with shredded horseradish in the yolk and mayonnaise filling. Find the horseradish deviled eggs with bacon recipe here.

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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.