We’ve mentioned serving a few dishes along with horseradish lately, so I thought I’d show you how to make it, from the dirt to the table! Horseradish has a very clean, hot flavor, that is intense but fades quickly. It’s a great compliment for salmon cakes or roast beef!
Growing HorseradishHorseradish is ridiculously easy to grow here in Portland, OR, and now is a good time to plant it! It grows as a perennial in zones 5-9, and can be grown as an annual elsewhere. If you are in a mild climate like ours, ignore those size guidelines that say it gets 2 feet tall and 18″ wide… Ours doubles that, easily!
Horseradish prefers a slightly acidic soil and full sun, though mine has done fine in part shade. Incorporating a lot of compost into the soil before planting will give it a good start. Make sure you select a spot where the horseradish can stay! It tastes best when about a year old, so feel free to divide your horseradish and move it from time to time.In fall after the leaves have died back, or in spring before they’ve come up is the right time to get a division of horseradish. You want your piece to be about 10 inches long, ideally, and including the top part) from a friend, garden center, or online nursery.
Dig a hole at least a foot wide and about 6 inches deep. Put the root in the hole, at about a 45 degree angle. Cover with the soil and pat it down gently. Water in and let nature work its magic!
Harvesting HorseradishThe flavor changes throughout the year, and is most intense after the leaves have seen frost. In the summer when the leaves are up, the plant’s energy is in the leaves! So for the yummiest horseradish, harvest when the leaves have died back.
The roots are what you want. Take a sharp shovel and cut a piece from the edge of your clump. Replace the soil and wash off the root. Don’t rub your eyes after touching it!
Make sure you prepare your horseradish in a well ventilated area! The vapors can burn your eyes.