Do you like horseradish?
I find that people either love it or hate it. Some people can't resist it, and some people will leave the room if it's on the table.
One bite of pungent prepared horseradish is enough to clear out anyone's sinuses, right?
Horseradish is both easy to grow and easy to prepare!
Plant a section of root in a sunny part of your yard, make sure it gets some water, and soon you'll have more horseradish than you can use.
If you don't have access to a garden plant, you can often find the roots at markets such as Whole Foods.
Homemade prepared horseradish is about twice as strong as store-bought versions, and lasts about 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
How to Make Homemade Prepared Horseradish
8 to 10-inch long piece horseradish root
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Dig up or buy an 8 to 10-inch horseradish root:
If you have access to a garden horseradish plant, use a sturdy shovel to dig up an 8 to 10-inch long tuber of horseradish. (You can't pull it up.)
The plant itself, once established, propagates with tubers, and is very hardy. (See Wikipedia on horseradish). Remove the leaves from the root and rinse the dirt off of the root.
Peel and chop:
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the surface skin off of the tuber. Chop into pieces.
Grind in food processor with water, add vinegar, salt:
Put into a food processor. Add a couple tablespoons of water. Process until well ground.
At this point be careful! A ground up fresh horseradish is many times as potent as freshly chopped onions and can really hurt your eyes if you get too close. Keep at arms length away, and work in a well ventilated room.
Strain out some of the water if the mixture is too liquidy. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a pinch of salt to the mixture. Pulse to combine.
Note that the vinegar will stabilize the level of hotness of the ground horseradish, so do not wait too long to add it to the mixture.
Transfer to jar:
Using a rubber spatula, carefully transfer the grated horseradish to a jar. It will keep for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
Fresh Wasabi (not the same as horseradish)