Pesach Menu: Horseradish

It sits there in an almost innocuous way, a small pile that looks like shredded coconut. You scoop some onto your matzah, take a bite, then three seconds later, WHAM! You get hit in the face with a blast of fiery hot lava that starts melting your tongue, teeth, sinuses and eyeballs.

Good times, good times.

We like horseradish all Pesach long. The trouble is that horseradish loses its pungency almost immediately after you start cutting into it. When grating horseradish, you need to get the shavings into an air-free environment as quickly as possible so that it stays strong. To complicate the problem, the grating releases the oils that make it sharp. Our procedure is to:

  • Peel the horseradish
  • Cut it up so it will fit in the processor feed tube
  • Shred it in the processor
  • Dump it into a zip-top bag as soon as the bowl is full
  • Don’t breathe or touch anything until you’re done

It’s not as simple as it sounds. Ever been maced? Or been in a tear gas cloud during a riot? Same thing. The good news is that it cures asthma. No, not really, but I could almost swear that my sense of smell (when it returns) is heightened for an hour or two.

Horseradish Sauce

This is a simple sauce that goes well with meat. Substitute pan juices for chicken stock if you have them.

Roasted Beets and Greens with Horseradish Mayonnaise

Beets and horseradish go so well together, they’re like the “chocolate and peanut butter” of Eastern Europe.

Sliced Sweet Potatoes with Horseradish Gratin

Remember to warn your guests that it isn’t cheese on the potatoes. Better yet, just bring some extra water to the table.

Cranberry Horseradish Sauce

Pair this sauce with a simple roast chicken or sauteed chicken breasts to add a punch of sweet-sour-bitter; the story of Exodus.

Carrot Apple Salad with Horseradish Mint Dressing

This salad is such a complex flavor combination, you’ll be looking for horseradish all year long! Luckily, it works just as well with prepared horseradish; leave out the vinegar.



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