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Horseradish sauce (Recipe: horseradish dip)


Every item in my pantry falls into one of two categories: innie, or outie.

Innies — ingredients that don't stand alone, and are fundamental to the creation of a dish — include herbs and spices, grains and legumes, and dry pasta.

Outies can be innies, but they also can stand alone. Often used as garnish, or to enhance the flavor of a finished dish, my standby outies include things like yogurt, ketchup, cheeses, soy sauce, and my brand-new favorite: horseradish sauce.

Horseradish, a perennial cultivated for its large, white root, is a member of the mustard family, like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the garden radish we use in salads. Horseradish is quite mild in flavor — until it is ground or grated; when the root cells are crushed, volatile oils known as isothiocyanate are released. Vinegar stops this reaction and stabilizes the flavor; the point at which the vinegar is added determines the potency of the finished product.

Bookbinder's Creamy Horseradish Sauce has been kicking up my cooking for the past few months, ever since it flew off the grocery store shelf (in the condiment aisle) and landed in my shopping cart. This particular brand contains good stuff (water is listed as the first ingredient, followed by soybean oil and actual horseradish, as well as distilled vinegar), and not-so-good-for-you stuff (high fructose corn syrup, which balances the heat of the horseradish root).

Horseradish sauce, traditionally served in England with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, tastes amazing as a condiment on my grandmother's beef brisket or turkey burgers. Mixed with cocktail sauce, it makes a potent dip for cold poached shrimp.

Best of all, this outie really livens up the boiled chicken stripped from the carcass after making stock. I hate to throw the meat away, but it gives up most of its flavor to the stock. Sassy horseradish sauce (it actually says "sassy" on the label) revives the overcooked meat, and a little bit mixed in with Miracle Whip (I know, I know....) and some diced celery makes a darned good chicken salad.

Horseradish dip

This dip is equally delicious with grilled shrimp, lamb or chicken kabobs, or crudites. Serves 6.


1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
3 Tbsp creamy horseradish sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tsp sugar or sugar substitute, or more to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herb (dill, for shrimp; rosemary, for lamb; thyme and parsley, for chicken)
Salt and black pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients, and chill for an hour to allow flavors to blend.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

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I love horseradish. I have a sister who can't stand it, which I just don't understand. (Of course she also doesn't like eggs, go figure.)

I think horseradish is one of those underutilized pantry ingredients (at least it is for me). So, thanks for giving me a reason to use it again! This is a great recipe; I'll try it with some beets I bought at the farmers' market this morning. I love the combination of beets and horseradish.


I've seen some recipes calling for horseradish sauce in some of my foreign books. I've never tasted it, but it's good to know what it is. :D

Lydia, I love this stuff -- I agree with everything you said about it's power to liven things up. Thanks for the tip about using it in overcooked chicken salad -- that's a great idea!


Kalyn, lucky for you that when your family was handing out taste buds, you got the ones that like horseradish and eggs!

Susan, beets and horseradish sounds like a dynamite combination.

Patricia, you can make a facsimile of horseradish sauce by mixing mayonnaise and grated horseradish root, and adding a bit of vinegar (to cut the bite of the horseradish).

Genie, I love to make stock using a whole chicken, but the meat is so tough after a couple of hours in the pot. Adding some of this horseradish sauce to my usual chicken salad mix took it into an entirely new dimension.

I love horseradish, too, especially in a dip. With shrimp, oh my gosh, I crave that.

Innies and outies — a unique way to look at a pantry, Lydia. It took me a while to grasp the concept, but it does make sense.

I've got homemade horseradish in the frig right now and MAN it is hot! Makes me reach for a tissue, just thinking about it ...

PS Turkey burgers? Of course!

I love the taste of horseradish on chicken sandwiches, I buy some premade with mayo (easy is good, right?)

Here is another ingredient that I have never used in my cooking...I think horseradish is a little strong for my taste, but maybe I should give it another shot.

Susan, I just returned from an early morning walk in 25 degree weather and read your comment. Beets...at farmers' market? So I linked to your blog and see that you, a fellow RIer, left for warmer climes!
Horseradish to me is as cauliflower is to Lydia. But, I will get some beets at the store and try your suggestion. Thanks!

I love horseradish in cocktail sauce!

Mimi and Jeff, you two must swap cocktail sauce recipes! I love horseradish with shrimp, and this creamy sauce makes a wonderful dip all by itself. It's also great on avocado.

Alanna, try some of this sauce in the turkey burgers as well as on top. Yum.

Pam, I'm with you 100% on the chicken sandwich thing. One of my favorite combinations.

Nupur, the zing of the horseradish in this sauce is much less than the pain of eating grated raw horseradish. You can tone it down further with mayo, sour cream, or blended avocado.

Marcia, don't you wish we had a farmer's market in the middle of winter????

Link, a sauce with horseradish and hot peppers?! Yowza -- you are brave! I've been meaning to take a bit of my friend Mary's horseradish root and add it to the herb garden, but every year I forget to do it. Maybe this year.....

I remember one of the chief pleasures from my meat-eating days was drizzling creamy horseradish sauce all over a sandwich of thinly sliced roast beef. My husband can't stand the stuff, but I love it. Wish I could use it more.

I love horseradish! I need to make more use of it!

Christine, welcome to The Perfect Pantry.

Note to all vegetarians: horseradish sauce makes a great base for a dipping sauce for roasted or tempura vegetables!

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