Botanical Name: Armoracia rusticana
Some other names: Mountain radish
How to grow it:
Horseradish is a very hardy rambling perennial to about 40cm. It is used for it young leaves and large roots in cooking and medicine.
Probably best grown in climates with cold winters, horseradish will still grow in warmer clients but the flavour will be milder. Grows well in sun or shade and is very drought tolerant – grows like mad when it’s wet, and goes almost dormant in the dry.
Deep, well drained soils will produce the biggest tubers, but it will grow well in poor soils too. An ideal plant for underneath fruit trees and amongst your vegetable crops. It is thought to repel many pest and diseases and make a great companion plant.
Propogation is by separation of the roots that can be broken up into pieces & then root quite readily. Once you have a plant established, you can pretty much harvest anytime & the it will resprout from the pieces of root left in the ground. Can spread a metre or two underground in just 1 year if left to.
Will also do quite well in pots if they’re large enough for the plant to develop a decent size root system. Regular harvesting would be essential.
A highly nutritious plant – Vitamins A, B, & C, potassium, calcium, iron and sulphur in particular.
Eating horseradish regularly is beneficial to your digestion and circulatory systems and for your blood. Can be taken as an expectorant in sinus conditions.
Using it in the kitchen:
Young horseradish leaves can be used fresh in salads, or cooked into stir fries, soups, curries and casseroles.
The roots are best eaten uncooked but need to be preserved in either mayonnaise or vinegar. My favourite method is to chop the roots roughly & further chop them as finely as I can in the food processor. Then dribble mayonnaise or vinegar while the processor’s still running until the mixture has the consistency of a sauce. My family eats the mixture as a delicious condiment, but it could also be considered a great preventative tonic for colds, flu and other viruses.
Horseradish is a great survival food as it’s so easy to grow and use, and provides flavour in cooking and health benefits.