Tangy Romaine With Cucumber & Horseradish

March 29, 2022
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

While Passover is a spring holiday, I often find the traditional dishes to be quite rich and cozy, so a bright and crunchy salad is absolutely necessary. This tangy romaine number comes together lickety split—in fact, the most time consuming element might be washing the notoriously dirty lettuce ($2). Toss a thinly sliced cucumber ($2) with vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Here’s the fun part: Finish the salad by grating a knob of fresh horseradish. It has the visual appeal of snowy Parmesan on a Caesar, but instead of creamy-salty, it’s bright and spicy like ginger. The roots are sold at some supermarkets year-round; others more around the time of Passover, but it’s just about always 8 to 10 inches long and $3 to 5. For this salad, you’ll need about 1/2 inch, which costs just a few cents. (If you can’t find fresh horseradish, use the prepared version: in Step 1, swap in 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish and 1 tablespoon vinegar, then add more to taste after tossing the salad. It’ll cost a bit more though, as prepared is typically about $3 per 6-ounce jar.)

Store leftover fresh horseradish wrapped in plastic in the freezer for grating whenever you’d like. Alternatively, use it to make DIY prepared horseradish: Peel and grate on the large holes of a box grater (or roughly chop, then chop finely in a food processor) and mix with 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, a big pinch of salt, and 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks. —Rebecca Firkser

Test Kitchen Notes

$25 Passover Menu
Brisket-Braised Beans & Portobellos
Cozy Potato-Carrot Kugel
Tangy Romaine With Cucumber & Horseradish
Permission to Not Make Dessert

Nickel & Dine is a budget column by Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor at Food52. Rebecca usually shares an easy, flavor-packed recipe that feeds four for $10 or less—this is a special edition: a $25 Passover for six or eight. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon honey, plus more as needed
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 pound (1 to 2 heads) romaine, leaves separated, rinsed, and dried
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves and all stems, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 large fresh horseradish root, for grating
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
  1. Whisk together the vinegar and honey in a large bowl. Use a mandoline (or knife) to very thinly slice the cucumber and add to the bowl.
  2. Tear any very large romaine leaves in halves or thirds, then add to the large bowl along with the small romaine leaves and all but a handful of the parsley. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and add a big glug of olive oil. Scrub the horseradish, then use a Microplane or the fine holes on a box grater to grate it heavily over the salad. Use your hands to toss, making sure every leaf of lettuce and piece of cucumber is coated in the tangy honey. Taste and add more honey and/or vinegar if needed.
  3. Arrange the salad on a large serving platter. Grate over another layer of horseradish. Top with the reserved parsley and flaky salt, and a bit more honey and/or vinegar if you’d like.

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