Horsing Around: Selecting and Storing Horseradish

First impressions can mean everything. Whether it be improper care or an aversion towards its daunting appearance, some people start off on the wrong foot when it comes to horseradish. Knowing how to best utilize the sharp, powerful root vegetable can mean the difference between a fan and a critic, but laying a good foundation is paramount to a good dish. Saddle up with these guidelines for selecting and storing horseradish.

  •  Gauging the appropriate size for your horseradish isn’t always an easy task. Generally, you’ll find roots that range from 6 inches to over a foot lengthwise, but avoid large horseradish, as it tends to be more fibrous.
  • Fresh horseradish should have a uniform color and be free of any troublesome markings. Additionally, always select ones that are firm and sprout-free. If your vegetable doesn’t meet these criteria, there’s a strong chance that it’s exceptionally bitter or dry.
  • Since horseradish is often sold precut, it begins to dry before it even reaches the market. As a result, determining shelf-life can be tricky. Even though your horseradish may appear fine long after you’ve brought it into the kitchen, try and use it within a couple weeks of purchase.
  • Once the root has made it into your kitchen, store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for best results.
  • Although we’d advise against freezing an entire horseradish root, you can store slices in the freezer for later use if you’re so inclined. However, be aware that it will lost some of its “bite” when frozen.
  • When you’re finally ready to use your horseradish, be sure to scrub off as much skin as possible because it has a disagreeable flavor.