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How To Prepare Horseradish Roots And Leaves

By October 22, 2012Horseradish

Horseradish roots and leaves are edible, both raw and cooked.
But get it wrong and you’ll have a spice explosion on your taste buds.
So here are some top tips and simple recipes for making the most of fresh horseradish.

20121022-111810.jpgHorseradish roots aren’t easy to come by, unless they are part of a sugary, pasteurised jar of sauce. And finding fresh leaves is a rare treat. Luckily it’s easy to grow your own.

Once you have some, here are some simple recipe ideas and preparation tips.

Horseradish roots have a strong, pungent, spicy flavour that can make your eyes water and your nose run! The leaves are a more subtle version of the flavour.

Roots keep for a week or two in a cool, dry place. But horseradish leaves are best used as soon as possible, before they wilt.

How to prepare horseradish root.

  • Some people need to use gloves to handle the fresh root, as the juice may irritate their skin. With chillies, you definitely don’t want to get it in your eyes or up your nose… 😉
  • If the skin is thin and fresh, you can eat the root with it intact. If it’s thicker and tighter, you can use a potato peeler to remove it.
  • For most recipes, you’ll want to finely slice your horseradish root – if it’s going to be liquidised. They are pretty tough. For use in sauces and dressings, you can grate it, instead, but it’ll probably make your eyes water and clear your sinuses! (One of its many health benefits!)
  • You’ll probably only want to use 5-10 grams (1/4 ounce) of root per person – less is definitely more, especially if you have a pungent root.

Recipes for horseradish root.

Here are some quick and easy recipes for horseradish roots.

  1. Horseradish sauce
    Grate 1 tablespoon of root. Mix with 2 tablespoons of oil (e.g. Olive or flax). Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey or other sweetener. Cover and leave to marinate for a few hours. Use as a condiment. Keeps for a few days in a sealed jar in the fridge.
  2. Beetroot and horseradish salad.
    Grate about 1 tablespoon of horseradish. Grate 2-3 beet roots (smallish, so they’re sweet and tender). Mix together with 1 tablespoon code vinegar, if you like. Serve the same day.
  3. Vegetable sauces
    Add about 1 teaspoon per person to sauces for vegetables, at the end of cooking, to add a pungent, spicy kick.
  4. Smoothies
    Add 1 teaspoon of chopped root to a smoothie, for a taste experience with extra health benefits.


How to prepare horseradish leaves.

Fresh is best – grow your own, if you have space.
Pick small leaves in spring, for eating raw.
Larger leaves can get quite tough, so you might want to steam them first.

Horseradish leaf recipes

Here are some simple recipes for horseradish leaves.

  1. Salads
    Use small fresh leaves raw in salads.
  2. Dressings
    Chop leaves finely to use in salad dressings.
  3. Spice up your veggies
    Chop and add to vegetables, just before eating.
  4. Unique pesto
    For an unusual variation on pesto, use a handful of leaves (small, young and sweet work best) to instead of basil to make a pesto.
  5. Smoothies
    Add a handful of leaves -younger or more mature – to your favourite smoothie for a spicy nutrient hit.
  6. Soups
    Add a handful per person of horseradish leaves to a soup recipe, just before liquidizing.

Do you have a favourite recipe for horseradish roots or leaves?
We’d love to hear from you, via the comments box.


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  • Elizabeth Nicholad says:

    We have had horseradish in our garden for 64 years and have only got it under control now by digging out the younger plants, then just hacking at the older ones that have reduced in size. Have tried growing in pots but because of deep tap root, they all died. Ideal for an isolated area , or used on embankment where it could be used as ground cover that you occasionally may want to make use of.

  • Brian Richardson says:

    Where it’s a member of the Kale family, I’m going to try it instead of Kale next time I make a batch of my Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana soup!

  • Vinette Rathkamp says:

    Horseradish Wraps Recipe:
    4 slices Deli Roast Beef
    2 Slices Swiss Cheese
    2 Medium (8-9 inch) Horseradish leaves
    Cooking Spray

    Gently fold leaves in half and trim bottom 1/3 of stem away from the leafy part with kitchen shears. Lay leaves flat and place 2 slices roast beef on bottom half of each leaf, top with cheese, and roll up so that the uncut top of the leaf is on the outside of the roll. Tuck end of leaf under, place roll on a microwave-safe dinner plate, and spritz with cooking spray. Microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until warm and the cheese just starts to melt. –Yummy, quick, and very low-carb!!

  • kseniya says:

    and if you don’t add the vinegar immediately, the grated horseradish keeps secreting something that makes it spicier and spicier, vinegar helps prevents that

  • Patrick says:

    Take care in planting horseradish. I would only plant it in a separate garden space because, although it is a wonderful plant, it will grow and spread as a pest plant. You have to get every bit of it out to remove it and I have dug as deep as 28″ to remove a tap root. It took years to control it in my garden and I am still battling it.

  • christian says:

    What makes the sufferance differences in the explosion of fresh horseradish, some is mild and super hot?

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