Wednesday, December 18, 2019

December 19, 2019 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Horseradish!

Cooking With This Week's Box

Horseradish Whips: Lemon Horseradish Butter (see below); Prepared Horseradish (see below); Food52 Editor’s Picks--HorseradishRoasted Garlic & Horseradish Mashed PotatoesFire Cider

Festival or Heart of Gold Squash: Maple Butter Roasted Acorn Squash with Pecans

We have officially reached the end of another year of eating out of a CSA box—can you believe it?!  It doesn’t seem possible, but as I spent some time reflecting on the season as I wrote this week’s newsletter article the food memories started flooding my mind.  While this will be my final “Cooking With the Box” article this year, I’m confident HVF vegetables will continue to be part of your weekly cooking repertoire well into the new year because this week’s box is packed full of storage vegetables!  We’re kicking off this week’s cooking chat with horseradish, this week’s featured vegetable.  I hope you’ll take a moment to read more about horseradish in this week’s “What’s In the Box” email/newsletter where you’ll learn that horseradish is intended to be a complementary ingredient as opposed to the main star of the show.  One of this week’s featured recipes is for Lemon Horseradish Butter (see below).  This is a good way to preserve horseradish as you can freeze the butter in smaller portions and pull it out when you’re ready to use it.  Slice and melt it over a hot grilled steak or salmon, on toast, or cooked vegetables.  I also included a recipe for Prepared Horseradish (see below) which is the form many recipes call for.  Check out Food52 Editor’s Picks--Horseradish for a list of over 20 recipes including horseradish.  One of my all-time favorite ways to use horseradish is in Roasted Garlic & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.  We used to make big pots of these potatoes at a restaurant I worked at in New York while I was in culinary school.  You could apply this same recipe to a nice root mash as well.  The last horseradish suggestion I have for you is to make a batch of Fire Cider.  This is a tonic of sorts thought to be good for boosting immunity throughout the winter.  In addition to horseradish, this recipe also calls on the healing powers of garlic and onions as well as cayenne pepper, turmeric, etc.

Grandma Delilah's Chocolate Carrot Bundt Cake
photo from
Moving on, lets talk carrots.  I know you’ve received a lot of carrots over the past few deliveries, but hopefully you have a safe place to store them so you can use them well into the winter!  While carrots are not referred to as a “superfood,” I think they should be. They are also so versatile in their use and can be part of our diets in any meal.  In our Facebook Group last week a member shared this recipe for Indian Carrot Dessert.  Wow, this looks so delicious!  I also want to try this recipe for Vegan Carrot Waffles.  While I haven’t done this recently, Richard and I like to pull out the waffle iron on Sunday morning for a leisurely brunch and by now you know I like to sneak vegetables into as many meals of the day as possible!  I also came across this Carrot Asiago Bread.  This is a savory quick bread courtesy of Martha—as in Stewart.  I like this idea because it is faster to make than yeast bread but would be a great accompaniment to a winter salad, soup or stew.  Lastly,  check out Grandma Delilah’s Chocolate Carrot Bundt Cake.  This looks sinful, but perhaps it isn’t since it contains carrots?!

Spicy Beauty Heart Radish and
Carrots with Tahini
photo from
Lets tackle a few more roots, like beauty heart radishes and golden turnips!  Personally, I like to eat beauty heart radishes raw and this Beauty Heart Radish and Sesame Seed Salad is one of my favorite, simple radish salads.  If you find the bite of the radish to be a bit much for your senses, consider cooking it.  You could try these Spicy Roasted Beauty Heart Radishes and Carrots with Tahini or Root Vegetable Gratin with Gruyere.  Now this root vegetable gratin recipe is written for sweet potatoes, celeriac and parsnips.  Perhaps you have all of these vegetables in your fridge right now, but if you don’t, do not worry—start substituting!  One of our members posted a meal she made that included Scalloped Beauty Heart Radish.  This recipe is made in a similar way and I never would have thought to include beauty heart radishes in this dish, but why not!  As for turnips, if it takes you all winter to work your way through the turnips in your crisper drawer, that’s just fine, they should keep.  Pull them out on a snowy winter night and make this dish of Roasted Turnips, Apples and Rosemary Chicken Thighs.  I also found this collection of Country Living’s 20 Turnip Recipes.  Surely there’s at least one suggestion in this list that will appeal to you!

Sunchoke Latkes with Poached Eggs
photo from
Before we move on from root vegetables we need to chat about sunchokes.  One of our market customers told me she made some delicious Sunchoke Pickles.  You’ll need to cut this recipe in half as it calls for 2 pounds of sunchokes and there are a little over one pound in your box.  I also want to try this recipe for Sunchoke Latkes with Poached EggsThis recipe calls for sunchokes, potatoes and parsnips, but you could sub in another root vegetable for any of these if you would like.   Lastly, check out this recipe for Sunchoke and Cashew Stir Fry.  It does call for corn and fresh chile peppers.  Unless you have some frozen corn and/or jalapenos from this past summer, my suggestion would be to substitute finely chopped carrots and siracha.

It’s always sad when we come to the last of our sweet potatoes, but before they’re all gone, there are a few more things I want to make.  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of sweet potato fries and I think this recipe for Sweet Potato Fries with Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce sounds delicious!  Serve these up with a burger and a side of Pina Colada Cole Slaw!  If you aren’t into pineapple, try this Carribean Cole Slaw with mango instead.

Mexican Sweet Potato and Quinoa Casserole
Photo from
I also want to try this Mexican Sweet Potato and Quinoa Casserole.  Another nice warm, winter dinner option and a good candidate for leftovers!  While I’m not usually into squash soups, I do like this one for Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup.  The addition of the sweet potatoes adds a nice richness to the soup.

Festival squash is very similar to acorn, except it tastes MUCH better!  While this recipe for Maple Butter Roasted Acorn Squash with Pecans calls for acorn squash, you can substitute the festival squash.  Serve this for weekend brunch or dinner alongside this French Onion Quiche.  And last, but not least, check out this recipe for Bacon Onion Jam!  Use it as a spread on toast with cream cheese or as the base for a pizza or flatbread along with roasted butternut squash.  These are just two simple ideas and I’m sure you can come up with more!

That’s it.  We’ve reached the bottom of the last box of the season and it’s time for me to sign off for a few months.  I look forward to cooking with you in a new decade!  See you in 2020!—Chef Andrea

Vegetable Feature: Horseradish Whips

by Andrea Yoder

Richard in the horseradish field
While horseradish is not a radish, it is in the Brassica family along with radishes.  The vegetables in the Brassica family are known for their strong, pungent flavors and they are powerhouses for valuable plant compounds that are beneficial for human health.  While many sources say that horseradish can’t be or isn’t consumed in quantities large enough to get much nutritive gain, I’d counter with the consideration that it isn’t always the amount of a food you are eating.  Rather, including small amounts of powerful foods periodically over time will result in a cumulative positive effect on your health.  With that in mind, lets explore horseradish a little further.

Pepper Crusted Salmon Cakes with Horseradish Sauce
photo from
Horseradish is a bold, pungent vegetable that has the power to make you cry, take your breath away and open every nasal passage you have—that is if you work with it and/or eat it in large quantities.  However, the same plant compounds in horseradish that make you do all those things are also the compounds that give horseradish its peppery flavor that wakes up our taste buds.  These compounds also have the ability to attack cancer cells and boost our immune systems.  Horseradish is intended to be used in small quantities, as a condiment or an accompaniment to enhance foods.  It goes well with rich and fattier foods such as salmon, beef, sausage and ham.  It also goes well with more acidic foods such as tomatoes, apples, lemons and other citrus.  It’s also a good accompaniment to bland foods that give it a base, but make horseradish look and taste good—foods such as sour cream, cream, butter, seafood, potatoes and root vegetables.  Prime rib and/or roast beef is often served with a creamy horseradish sauce.  Horseradish is a key ingredient in the classic ketchup based cocktail sauce served with poached shrimp.  If you’re into Bloody Marys, you’ll know horseradish is part of this drink recipe as well.  These are just a few examples of how and where you might use horseradish.  On the recipe website,, they have an “Editor’s Picks” list for horseradish that contains over twenty recipes using this vegetable. A few of my favorites from this list include Pepper Crusted Salmon Cakes with Horseradish Sauce, Sour Cream Biscuits with Horseradish, Chives & Bacon, Horseradish and Crab Appetizer and Horseradish Parsnip Apple Slaw.

Horseradish Whips
This week your box contains a bag with 4-5 ounces of horseradish whips.  While the root and leaves are both edible, we only harvest and eat the roots.  Horseradish is a perennial plant that is typically planted in the fall from seed pieces that are taken from cuttings when the previous crop is harvested.  A nice seed piece is a straight piece usually about 8-10 inches long with the diameter of a fat pencil or a thin marker.  Seed pieces grow off the main horseradish root which is the most saleable portion of the plant on the wholesale market.  Any pieces that are smaller than is needed for wholesale or seed are called whips.  Whips are usually thrown away, but this is actually the part of the root I prefer to work with for several reasons.  First of all, I think the skin is thin and tender enough on these pieces that you don’t need to peel it.  The less you have to handle horseradish, the better!  I also think the whips are a more manageable size to deal with instead of a big root.  On the internet you’ll see references that say horseradish should be eaten within 1-2 weeks… friends, I think that’s wrong.  Your horseradish whips will store much, much longer than 1-2 weeks if you keep them in the bag in the refrigerator.  To give you a frame of reference, we harvest horseradish the latter part of October.  In many years, we’ve held horseradish in cold storage for months and sell it all throughout the winter!  Don’t be afraid of a little fuzzy white mold on the surface either.  It’s not uncommon to see this after extended time in the refrigerator.  If you see that happening, but the integrity of the root is still good, just wash it off.  If you do decide to discard some/all of your horseradish, do heed caution that you may not want to put it in your own compost pile or the like.  Any chunks of horseradish that don’t fully degrade may grow under the right conditions.  If you’re not careful you just might plant horseradish in your own back yard and if you do so unintentionally, it will be with you for years to come!

Horseradish Apple Parsnip Coleslaw, Photo from
Back to the whips.  Once you start cutting, grating or chopping horseradish you’ll release the volatile oils that give horseradish its bite.  This is when you need to make sure you have adequate ventilation to decrease the chances of your eyes tearing up.  Also, make sure you wash your hands after handling horseradish so you don’t accidently get these peppery oils in your eyes.  Some recipes might tell you to grate the horseradish on a box grater.  This is kind of hard to do with whips because they’re so skinny.  My recommendation is to just cut the whips into 1-2 inch pieces and chop them finely in a food processor.  You could also use a blender.  Little blenders like The Bullet or Ninja can be useful for smaller quantities, or just use a hand chopper.  Last but not least, you could chop the whips finely with a chef’s knife.  As soon as you start chopping horseradish the pungent oils will start to volatilize.  If you are going to serve a dish with freshly grated horseradish, you’ll want to chop it just before serving.  If you chop horseradish in advance and don’t do anything to stabilize the oils, the majority of the flavor will dissipate and the horseradish won’t be very spicy or flavorful.  Often times you’ll see a recipe that calls for “Prepared Horseradish.”  This refers to horseradish that is pre-chopped/grated and stabilized in a vinegar solution which sets the flavor and prevents it from dissipating.  This week I’ve included a recipe for prepared horseradish.  You can keep prepared horseradish in the refrigerator for several weeks like this before it will start to lose its pungency.  This can be super handy to have as you can just take a teaspoon or two as needed for different recipes without having to chop it fresh every time.

Lastly, if you don’t like spicy things or don’t think you’ll like horseradish, just start small.  Stir a little bit of freshly chopped horseradish into mayonnaise and spread it on a sandwich or make horseradish cream and drizzle it lightly over roasted root vegetables.  You just might find you like that little bit of kick and flavor it adds!

Lemon Horseradish Butter

Yield:  1 ½ cups (One 8-inch log)
Roots, by Diane Morgan

1 or 2 horseradish whips, cut into small chunks
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the horseradish until finely grated.  You will need about 1 - 1½ Tbsp grated horseradish, depending on how strong you want the butter. Scatter the lemon zest and salt over the top and pulse once or twice until evenly distributed.  Add the butter and process until smooth, creamy and well combined.  Add the parsley and pulse just until evenly distributed.
  2. Lay a long sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap on a work surface.  Using a rubber spatula, spread the butter into a long, rough log about 1 ½ inches in diameter.  Wrap the parchment snugly around the log and, using your palms, roll the log back and forth to shape it into a smooth, uniform cylinder.  Twist both ends like a candy wrapper to seal them closed.  Refrigerate for up to 3 days or store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This recipe was borrowed from Diane Morgan’s book, Roots.  Here are some of her suggestions for how to use this butter:  “Grill a steak or a piece of fish and finish it with a slice of this horseradish butter.  Roast some fingerling potatoes and dab them with the butter.  Put it on a humble baked potato to dress up.  Soften the butter, spread it on crostini, and top it with a slice of smoked salmon for an instant appetizer.  Having this kind of homemade food on hand takes cooking from good to great.”

Note from Chef Andrea:  When I make flavored butter like this, I like to roll it into smaller logs that are 2-3 inches long.  This is just the right amount for our household to thaw and use within a few days.   If you don’t want to take the time to roll logs, you can also just freeze 2-3 oz portions in small storage containers.  You can’t slice the butter as nicely as you can with a log, but once it’s thawed it’s easy to spread on bread, vegetables, etc.

Prepared Horseradish

Yield:  1—half pint jar

3 oz fresh horseradish whips
4 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
¼ tsp salt
Sugar, pinch
  1. Have a clean and sterilized jar with a lid and canning ring available nearby. 
  2. Cut the horseradish whips into chunks and place them in the food processor.  Pulse to grind.   It will be a bit dry, something like coconut.  
  3. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar.  Blend to combine well.
  4. Pack the horseradish into the jar and refrigerate.  
Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone.

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