Peo­ple gar­den for veg­eta­bles, herbs and fruits. Why not condiments?

This past spring I was sur­prised to find a horse­rad­ish plant at my local gar­den cen­ter. They only had one, but I grabbed it.

horseradish 2

Horse­rad­ish is a peren­nial in zones 2 through 9. In fact, it’s so hearty than the under­ground roots can become invasive.

Since my horse­rad­ish was only planted in the spring, I was fru­gal in dig­ging up just a few roots this fall.  They didn’t smell of much until I processed them.

Pro­cess­ing horse­rad­ish in large quan­ti­ties should be done out­side to avoid burn­ing of the eyes and nasal pas­sages. It involves peel­ing and then grat­ing the roots by hand or in a food proces­sor, adding a vine­gar and water mix­ture to pre­serve the horse­rad­ish. Fresh horse­rad­ish processed this way will keep for about six weeks in the refrigerator.

Since I only had a bit of horse­rad­ish, I threw cau­tion to the wind and processed it indoors rather than haul­ing my Cuisi­nart to the back porch. I sur­vived unscathed.

The fresh horse­rad­ish is amaz­ingly brisk and pun­gent, with a much cleaner aroma than the horse­rad­ish I buy in the stores. So far I have made a sauce for crab cakes and horse­rad­ish dev­iled eggs—because God knows I have plenty of eggs.

The fla­vor is so fab­u­lous, I’ll never be with­out horse­rad­ish in my gar­den again. I sup­pose that’s espe­cially true if it turns out to be invasive.

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11 Responses to “Horseradish Harvest: My New Condiment Garden”

  1. Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening Says:

    From what I’ve heard, it is one of those plants that resprouts from every bit of root. My hus­band hates the stuff, so you won’t see me grow­ing it as a condi­ment, but I once saw a photo of var­ie­gated horse­rad­ish, and it was very attrac­tive. If one came my way, I would take a chance on it.
    .-= Kathy from Cold Cli­mate Gardening´s last blog ..Why I Gar­den =-.

  2. Barbee' Says:

    Good idea! I have never processed it, but there was one plant here when we moved here 20 years ago. I knew it could be inva­sive, so every year we tried to dig it out. Every time, a young male helper wield­ing the spade, said: “I got it this time.” Every year it has come back. It didn’t spread, but it keeps com­ing back in that one spot :) Maybe there is a les­son in there some­where; I don’t know.
    .-= Barbee’´s last blog ..That’s My Boy! =-.

  3. Randy Says:

    Been think­ing about grow­ing horse­rad­ish but I do not need any more inva­sive plants here. Thanks for this arti­cle.
    .-= Randy´s last blog ..New Tea Gar­den, well almost =-.

  4. Mr. McGregor's Daughter Says:

    Inva­sive & I don’t like it, so it won’t be grow­ing here. I think I’ll stick to gar­lic.
    .-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..When a Gar­dener Hosts a Party =-.

  5. Gail Says:

    I won­der if it would be suc­cess­ful in a container…that might help with the inva­sive roots. gail
    .-= Gail´s last blog ..It’s All In Your Per­spec­tive =-.

  6. Sally Says:

    If you have an exhaust over your kitchen range, use that to process items with lots of odor such as horse radish and onions.

  7. joene Says:

    I’ve been grow­ing horse­rad­ish for years, and since I dig some up every sea­son for win­ter use I don’t have any prob­lem with it becom­ing inva­sive. My inlaws also grew it for years with sim­i­lar results — both zone 6 gar­dens. You can’t beat the fresh fla­vor of home­grown horse­rad­ish. I won’t be with­out it.
    .-= joene´s last blog ..Gar­den­ing Oops (GOOPs)- last of 2009 =-.

  8. admin Says:

    I’ve real­ized that horse­rad­ish is a love-it-or-hate-it condi­ment. Not just because of the taste, but because of fears of invasiveness.

    I hope Joene is right and har­vest­ing it each year keeps it from becom­ing invasive.

    Thanks for vis­it­ing, everyone.


  9. Most Tweeted Articles by Gardening Experts Says:

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  10. Matt Says:

    Is there a pre­ferred time of year to har­vest horse­rad­ish? I don’t know that I’ve had horse­rad­ish, but grow­ing more condi­ments sounds like a good plan.
    .-= Matt´s last blog ..Shade-loving peren­nial edi­bles =-.

  11. Growing Tomatoes Says:

    There’s noth­ing bet­ter than grow­ing your own condi­ments, once you get the recipe down right, it’s heaven on earth.