A Botanical Superhero

As national herb week wraps up today, I hope you have drawn inspirition to plant and cook with more fresh herbs in your daily diet. Last year dill held the title spot and this year horseradish is herb of the year. It happens to be one of those ingredients that I have integrated in many of my cookbooks + TV show recipes over the years to add a little kick in flavor and dress up even the most ordinary dishes to be more memorable, like smashed potatoes. Caution, fresh horseradish is one of those flavor profiles that sneaks up on your palate, and is usually followed by a teary eyed "wow that's got bite!" response.

Fresh horseradish root has a shelf life of a few weeks in the refrigerator. It's also always good to have prepared horseradish in long lasting jarred condiment form on hand, like Golds, for those impromptu entertaining moments to quickly fix up dips, sauces or dressings.

Horseradish is also considered a botanical superhero, recorded since ancient times with great medicinal properties; ideal for healing sinus conditions and boosting circulation. It's easy to grow in your garden, but been known to be a bit invasive, aka a root bully.

As per many hollywood movies, the bloody mary has the reputation for being a hangover helper, but today's inspiration is all about horseradish and making this refreshing cocktail for a late spring evening cocktail which can be enjoyed with or without liquor.

The Bloody Mary

It's one of those cocktails that doesn't have an exact recipe, per say. Everyone seems to have their own rendition of this recipe. I prefer mine with a bit of spicy kick; horseradish and a little hot sauce. 

To Make Bloody Mary Mix | from George Hirsch Living it UP! TV series
Fill a two quart glass pitcher with: 
46 ounces tomato juice
2-4 Tablespoons horseradish
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon crushed celery seed
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Juice of two limes 
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
For a Virgin Mary, serve Bloody Mary Mix over crushed ice and garnish.

For a Bloody Mary Cocktail; add 1 oz vodka to a highball glass filled with ice, then fill glass with pre-made bloody mix. Stir, garnish and serve. 

Garnish should include a celery stalk and lime wedge. Optional additions may include olives, pickles, pickled asparagus spears, carrots, cured meat, smoked fish and semi-hard cheeses.