What a great root!

It’s the question on everyone’s lips. I’ve been deluged with comments on the blog demanding an update. Audience members on Gardeners’ Question Time have been pestering the panel for months. I believe Toby Buckland even mentioned it on Gardener’s World just before he started clearing his desk.

Just what has been happening to the horseradish planted on The Drooling Vegetable’s plot back in April?

Well folks, you’ll be delighted to know that the wait is over. This week we have news of the great root, along with a mouth (and eye-) watering recipe.

But first, in a pathetic attempt to garner some gratuitous hits on the site courtesy of dim-witted search engines looking for keywords, let me just repeat some relevant phrases: Eye-wateringly enormous root. Spicy! Hot!

And now let me apologise to anyone who has stumbled across this blog looking for something rather different. Blame your search engine.

But I digress. So, after planting the fairly pathetic plants back in the Spring I politely ignored them throughout the summer as they went about their unremarkable business on the plot. No flowers, not particularly pretty foliage, all in all a deeply functional plant.

Last week, with Roast Beef on the menu, it was time to dig up a plant and see what was going on. And there they were: some tasty-looking roots! Not much thicker than a pencil, they looked a little parsnip-like, but with a reassuring, if faint, whiff of, well, horseradish.

So, back to the kitchen. No need to bother with a recipe for horseradish sauce. After all, you just grate it and mix it up with some crème fraiche, right? Well, it turns out it’s a bit more complicated than that. If you just do that then you end up with something that tastes really bland but makes your nose run and your eyes water. So here’s the recipe…

Horseradish sauce

Ingredients

Lemon juice

Horseradish (well, dur!)

Vinegar

Sugar

Salt

Crème fraiche / whipped cream / mascarpone etc

Grate your horseradish and stir it into the crème fraiche. About 3-4 tablespoons of root and about 100g of crème fraiche. Add 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp vinegar. Add a bit of sugar and salt. Adjust all of the above quantities depending on your taste.

Serve alongside rare roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and a nice glass of Claret. Feel ineffably proud to be British / deeply envious that you are not British and cannot therefore experience such emotions.

On the ipod while eating: Dryyour eyes / The Streets. Told you it was spciy.

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