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.

Be Socia­ble, Share!
Robin

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.

    Robin

  9. Most Tweeted Articles by Gardening Experts Says:

    […] by Gar­den­ing Experts Tues­day, 1 Decem­ber 2009 Top Mem­bers | Pop­u­lar News 4 Likes Bum­ble­bee Blog » Blog Archive » Horse­rad­ish Har­vest: My New Condi­ment Gar­den 3 Likes Twit­pic — Share pho­tos on Twit­ter 3 Likes Energy Trust […]

  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.

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.

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