||Horseradish is perennial in hardiness zones 2–9 and can be grown as an annual in other zones. After the first frost in the autumn kills the leaves, the root is dug and divided. The main root is harvested and one or more large offshoots of the main root are replanted to produce next year's crop. Horseradish left undisturbed in the garden spreads via underground shoots and can become invasive. Older roots left in the ground become woody, after which they are no longer culinarily useful, although older plants can be dug and re-divided to start new plants. The early season leaves can be distinctively different, asymmetric spiky, before the mature typical flat broad leaves start to be developed. you may cut the root into several large chunks for planting purposes, no problem!
Cooks use the terms "horseradish" or "prepared horseradish" to refer to the grated root of the horseradish plant mixed with vinegar. Prepared horseradish is white to creamy-beige in color. It will keep for months refrigerated but eventually will darken, indicating it is losing flavour and should be replaced. The leaves of the plant, are edible, and are referred to as "horseradish greens", which have a flavor similar to that of the roots.
Horseradish sauce made from grated horseradish root and vinegar is a popular condiment in the United Kingdom and in Poland. In the UK it is usually served with roast beef, often as part of a traditional Sunday roast, but can be used in a number of other dishes also, including sandwiches or salads. A variation of horseradish sauce, which in some cases may substitute the vinegar with other products like lemon juice or citric acid, is known in Germany as Tafelmeerrettich. Also popular in the UK is Tewkesbury mustard, a blend of mustard and grated horseradish originating in medieval times and mentioned by Shakespeare (Falstaff says: "his wit's as thick as Tewkesbury Mustard" in Henry IV Part II). A very similar mustard, called Krensenf or Meerrettichsenf, is popular in Austria and parts of Eastern Germany. In France, sauce au raifort is popular in Alsatian cuisine.
In the U.S., the term "horseradish sauce" refers to grated horseradish combined with mayonnaise or salad dressing. Prepared horseradish is a common ingredient in Bloody Mary cocktails and in cocktail sauce, and is used as a sauce or sandwich spread. Horseradish cream is a mixture of horseradish and sour cream and is served alongside au jus for a prime rib dinner.
Compounds found in horseradish have been widely studied for a plethora of health benefits. Horseradish contains volatile oils, notably mustard oil, which has antibacterial properties due to the presence of allyl isothiocyanate. Fresh, the plant also contains average 79.31 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of raw horseradish.
Recipe for prepared horseradish sauce:
2 to 3 cups horseradish roots
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
more water as needed
1. Dig up the horseradish.
2. Rinse the roots and cut just below the base of the stems. Set the stems aside to replant as they will grow new roots. Scrub the roots clean and cut into 2″ pieces.
3. Pour the cider vinegar and water into the blender. Add all the cut roots. Add water to the full line and cover.
4. Blend for several minutes until the roots are finely ground. Strain away the liquid. Store in a well-sealed plastic container.
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The flowers are yellow and produced in capitate flowerheads, which are 5–10 centimetres (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter, with 10–20 ray florets. The tubers are elongated and uneven, typically 7.5–10 centimetres (3.0–3.9 in) long and 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) thick, and vaguely resembling ginger root, with a crisp texture when raw. They vary in color from pale brown to white, red, or purple. The artichoke contains about 10% protein, no oil, and a surprising lack of starch
The tubers are sometimes used as a substitute for potatoes:they have a similar consistency, and in their raw form have a similar texture, but a sweeter, nuttier flavor; raw and sliced thinly, they are fit for a salad.
In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, over 90% of the Jerusalem artichoke crop is used to produce a spirit called "Topinambur", "Topi" or "Rossler". By the end of the 19th-century Jerusalem artichokes were being used in Baden to make a spirit called "Jerusalem artichoke brandy," "Jerusalem artichoke", "Topi", "Erdäpfler" "Rossler" or "Borbel."
Jerusalem artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavour. It is characterised by an intense pleasing earthy note. The tubers are washed and dried in an oven before being fermented and distilled. It can be further refined to make "red rossler" by adding Common Tormentil, and other ingredients such as currants, to produce a somewhat bitter and astringent decoction. It is used as digestif as well as a remedy for diarrhea or abdominal pain.
Site. Plant sunchokes in full sun. The sunchoke prefers loose, well-drained soil but will grow almost anywhere. Add aged compost or sand to planting beds before planting; loose soil will make tuber harvesting easier. The sunchoke prefers a soil pH from 5.8 to 6.2. It is best to set sunchokes in a dedicated bed; once established they will spread rapidly and may require some effort to remove. The sunchoke can be planted densely to form a screen or windbreak.
Planting time. Sunchoke tubers can be planted in the garden as early as 2 to 3 weeks before the average last frost date in spring. They are best planted in soil that has warmed to 50°F. In warm-winter regions sunchokes can be planted in winter. Sunchokes require 110 to 150 days to reach harvest. Sunchokes grow best in temperatures ranging from 65° to 90°F.
Planting and spacing. Plant sunchoke tubers 2 to 6 inches deep, 12 to 18 inches apart. Space rows 36 to rows inches apart.
Water and feeding. Sunchokes grow best with an even, regular supply of water but can survive long periods of drought once established. Sunchokes require no extra feeding; they grow best in soil rich in organic matter.
Companion plants. Corn, rhubarb, peanuts. Avoid planting sunchokes with tomatoes.