Horseradish Grilled Cheese

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Post by Anna

In the world of leftovers challenges, Passover is a league of its own. For eight days, we opt out of bread and make do with the beige and brown foods dreamed up by our gluten-deprived ancestors. Perhaps the most puzzling stars of Jewish cuisine—gray gefilte fish topped with white globs of horseradish, brown eggs that spent the day boiling in onion skins, mounds of cloying charoset, cloud-like matzah balls, cookies made with Manischewitz (!?)—are reserved for this holiday meal, the supposed reward for sitting through hours of historical banter while chewing on limp florets of salty parsley. (New to Passover? Jo at Second City has got you covered.)

Thankfully, our friends at The Gefilteria have an enterprise dedicated to breathing life into these foods, and we enjoyed two beautiful seder meals studded with new recipes to go alongside old ones. The favorite was a sinus-clearing, homemade horseradish made from blanched carrots, lemon zest, and sugar that dotted the table in mounds of bright orange.

When Molly and I were sent home from seder with tins of crumbling meringues and an assortment of condiments, we were stumped. I texted Liz (Chief Gefiltemonger) from my office chair that week: “Horseradish Tupp Up. Any ideas?” She responded immediately from her apartment-cum-test kitchen in Brooklyn: “Grilled cheese.”

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After Passover, horseradish typically goes to die in the refrigerator door next to a half-eaten can of onion relish from 2013. This version deserved better. As soon as Passover ended and we welcomed seeded baguettes back into our loving arms, it was on. With two types of horseradish, pickles, and spring greenery, we took to a loaf of potato bread with some sharp cheddar. After a holiday where two crackers layered with a hunk of raw root vegetable passes as a sandwich, this grilled cheese did us right.

Find Liz and Jeff’s carrot-citrus horseradish recipe here. The raw root is potent, so open the windows! The citrus in this recipe balances out the heat, so it’s worth making all year round (not just to conjure up memories of slavery).

A more traditional beet version can be made by combining 1 cup freshly grated horseradish root (peeled), 3 cups chopped cooked beets, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar, and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar in a food processor. Let stand at least one hour before eating.

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