OK, who knew how much fun fresh horseradish root could be?? This fall we got a whole pile of the roots from some friends and were really excited to try fermenting it for a healthy, non-dairy variation on horseradish sauce. (We also used some in a batch of cultured veggies that is turning out quite delicious…and zippy!) This is a mish-mosh of recipes and ideas from Nourished Kitchen, and Cultures for Health, and Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation, plus a little shootin’ from the hip.
Since it’s just a week until Thanksgiving, I’m really looking forward to some mashed potatoes spiced up with this sauce! Of course, for you meaties out there, it would be good a nice holiday roast as well…
Fermented Horseradish Sauce
The proportions here are for a crazy lot of sauce, based on the fabulous pile we were given. Downsize as you see fit. Or don’t, and have enough to give away for the holidays and to keep you through the winter. (As with other fermented & cultured foods, this should keep just fine in the fridge for 6-9 months. Or, if you’re a canner, go for it and keep for much longer.)
5 cups finely ground horseradish root
1 cup whey, or liquid from other cultured veggies or pickles
2 tablespoons sea salt
3 tablespoons honey
filtered or well water (non-chlorinated)
Scrub the living bejesus (anyone know what that actually means?) out of the roots. They are dirty little buggers fresh out of the ground! I didn’t bother peeling them, but that means getting the grubby out of the nubs. Chop into chunks and throw into a food processor and process until finely ground. Open the food processor outside if at all possible cause these suckers are hot and fragrant (i.e. eye burning). For an extra giggle, you can use onion goggles for a little extra protection…silly, but effective.
Add the horseradish to a big blender (preferably a Vitamix cause those babies rock) along with the whey, salt, honey, and enough water to barely rise to the top of the horseradish. Blend on high (a little mixing as it’s blending helps). Put it all in a big fermenting vessel of some sort (ask Sandor how) or just a simple glass jar works too. Just be sure to release the pressure at least daily as the fermenting starts creating gases and all that good stuff.
Let sit out at room temperature for at least 3-5 days, but usually I prefer a little more time for the flavors to develop so recommend a nice round week. Taste a little teeny bit each day after 3 days and when the taste gets where you want it, pack it up in little jars and refrigerate.
Makes 12 4-ounce jars.