The first time I made this dip, I started out with a tablespoon of horseradish. It wasn’t enough, but being a bit horseradish shy, I added only one more. Still it wasn’t enough, and so, tasting after each addition of yet one more tablespoon, I eventually arrived at a whopping eight.
Horseradish has been used as an aphrodisiac, a rub for lower back pain, and a treatment for tuberculosis and rheumatism; it is also used as a bitter herb for Passover seders. About six million gallons of prepared horseradish are produced annually in the US – enough to generously season sandwiches to reach 12 times around the world.
Makes about 2 cups.
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded (about 3 cups), at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream or Yogurt Cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup prepared horseradish (without sugar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Chopped fresh Italian parsley or cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Place the cheese, sour cream, and butter in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Add the horseradish and lemon juice and process until incorporated.
2. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. If refrigerated, let soften before serving.
Serve with celery sticks, zucchini spears, steamed tiny potatoes, triangles of pumpernickel bread, or French bread toasts.
From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)