You gotta wonder how some things got their names… I mean, did a horse and a radish fall in love, and we wound up with this ugly, sharp flavoured root, that somehow goes great with both Gefilte fish AND roast beef? Apparently, the word horseradish is attested in English from the 1590s. It combines the word horse (formerly used as an adjective meaning “strong, large, or coarse”) and the word radish. Despite the name, this plant is poisonous to horses. Interestingly enough, the root is part of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbage.
Personally, I have grown to love horseradish as I’ve gotten older, and tend to put dollops on my roast or Gefilte fish. In Yiddish, the word for horseradish is “Chrain” and we tend to mix it with mayonnaise to create “Chrainnaise”. Today’s recipe calls for the use of horseradish in a vinaigrette. I would suggest using either non-prepared horseradish (raw) or the prepared type, but without added beets a.k.a. the white horseradish jar, not the red one. This dressing would go great on a garden salad served with a roast beef dinner, or tossed on roasted vegetables served at that meal. No matter where you use it, enjoy!
* photo credit to Fran Evans of Two Bad Mice. Check out more of her work at www.twobadmice.com.