Thursday, April 1, 2010

Homemade horseradish for Passover

Yes, it's blurry. No, it's not your eyes. My apologies. The good camera was, well, lost in the mess on my desk. Sigh.

For Thanksgiving, it's the cranberries. For Hanukkah, it's the applesauce. For Passover? The horseradish.

As always, yes, it's easier to buy it in a jar. But it doesn't even come close. And while most of mine found its way onto gefilte fish or spread over matzo, you can use it for pretty much anything.

A warning, though: It's strong. Strong, I tell you. And pungent. Hard to mistake for anything else, that's for sure.

Homemade Horseradish for Passover (a recipe written in my own hand several years ago on a piece of notepaper, which means I have no idea where it came from; my apologies to whomever I'm not giving appropriate credit)

4 ounces fresh horseradish, peeled*
1 8.25 ounce can of sliced beets
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar

*A note about fresh horseradish: For one thing, it can be hard to find at all. Some supermarkets carry it; others don't. You may have to ask around. For another, make sure it's good and fresh. Sniff it; it should not quite knock you over. The stuff I made this year? Well, frankly, it sucked. And that was because the horesradish root I bought was woody through the middle, and the stuff simply had gone well past its prime. It was, however, the only bit of horseradish in the store, and so I'd caved and bought it, rather than drag my tuchus over to another store. Next time? The tuchus will be dragged.

1. Grate horseradish; I do it in my food processor.

2. Drain liquid from beets, reserving 3 tablespoons. Coarsely chop beets. (Not necessary if you end up using a food processor, as I do, on the whole mess in the end. See #4.

3. Put beets, beet juice, lemon juice, salt, and sugar into bowl and mix.

4. Stir into horseradish. If you like relatively large chunks of horseradish, you're done here. I don't. I like mine to be not quite as pureed as the stuff in the jars, but a lot more finely ground than a quick pulse through the grater provides. So once I've stirred everything together, I throw it into the food processor and pulse away until it's just the right consistency.

5. Cover and let stand at least an hour, so that the flavors get a chance to meld and deepen. Trust me; it needs that hour.

Serve with...whatever you normally serve horseradish with.

It is like nothing else.

(Yes, I'm done with Passover recipes now. I promise. Mostly because by the time I do my next recipe, I'll be done with Passover itself! Hope you and yours enjoy your holiday, whichever one you celebrate, with smiles and laughter and--of course--excellent food.)

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, you had me right up til the beets entered the picture! ;-) I recently tried my hand at making fresh horseradish and was amazed at how simple it is to make an so much better than what you can find in the stores. I made mine using vinegar instead of lemon juice; I think that's more of the Pennsylvania Dutch method to use vinegar?

    Happy Passover, my friend!