Archive 2008 - 2019

Italy: Carrots with Horseradish Sauce

by Sarah R. Commerford

Admittedly, I'm unstylishly late to the horseradish lovers party. It just wasn't something (probably one of the only things) that I never ate growing up. Not because I didn't like it, but because we just didn't have it our fridge.

But, like anyone who suddenly develops full-on adoration for a previously unknown thing, I'm all in. It's slightly sweet and spicy, a little hot, and tangy enough to alert your tongue and nose. Not actually a radish, this herb is related to the turnip, cabbage and mustard. Thought to have first been grown in Southern Russia and Eastern Ukraine, horseradish has many uses that vary according to country and region. In this case, it's mixed in with cream, yogurt and lemon as a dressing for a lovely Northern Italian summer carrot salad.


From the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy (# 4 on the map), horseradish grows abundantly in this northern region. The greens can be used, but if a stronger flavor is preferred, the roots are picked in winter. I don't grow horseradish, so I simply used a jar brand with no additives. If you use it fresh, grate it finely. This clean, colorful salad is a beautiful, easy accompaniment to any meal. Use the freshest carrots you can find to ensure the tender, sweetest flavor and most vibrant color. If you feel like adding a little crunch, toasted pine nuts would be a great addition.

The basics: Cream, lemon juice, horseradish, yogurt and carrots - that's all folks!

Create wide flat strips by pressing down hard with the vegetable peeler

Plate carrot strips, top with dressing - garnish with parsley and radishes

Carrots with Horseradish (Carote Al Rafano) Adapted from Italy The Beautiful Cookbook, by Lorenza De Medici

1 lb. carrots
1 lemon
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
6 Tbsp. horseradish (jar or grated fresh)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish.

Wash and peel the carrots. Place in a bowl of cold water with a few ice cubes and the juice of one lemon. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Dry the carrots and peel by pressing firmly on the carrot with the vegetable peeler to get wide, flat strips.
Blend the cream and yogurt; add the horseradish with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange carrots on a plate, top with as much of the horseradish mixture as desired.
Garnish with fresh parley, radishes or other herbs of your choice.