It's almost Passover, and a Seder isn't a Seder in my family without the powerful, pungent smell emanating from bowls of horseradish. Since I'm on this homemade condiment kick, I thought it was time to ditch the bottle and prepare the real stuff.
Horseradish is part of the mustard family, harvested for its root which produces a tear-inducing mustard oil called isothiocyanate when crushed, giving it that spiciness we all know.
I used my food processor, pulsing peeled chunks of horseradish until they were finely chopped. At this point, you need to add vinegar to stabilize the horseradish and keep it from browning and losing its pungency. It's the amount of time between grating the root and adding the vinegar which defines the heat of the final condiment. Adding the vinegar almost immediately will create a pretty mild horseradish, while letting it sit for about five minutes will produce a much punchier condiment.
For my first batch, I waited three minutes in between and got a nice medium heat. It was perfect for the horseradish cream sauce I made after, but if you're gonna try to get me to eat gefilte fish next week, I'll be looking for something hotter.
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.
- 4 ounces horseradish root, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Place horseradish in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the side of bowl as necessary.
Add vinegar and salt 1-2 minutes after horseradish is chopped for a mild horseradish, or 5 to 7 minutes for a hotter horseradish. Pulse to combine.
Immediately move horseradish to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator up to 4 weeks.