It’s a funny old year so far, isn’t it? Last time I blogged we were on the tail end of a heat wave (it had been 24 degrees c just the weekend before), but right now we’re struggling to get above 10 degrees and it’s been raining consistently for the last 2 weeks. Throw in the national drought and a hosepipe ban (like that matters at the moment), and you’re smack bang in the middle of Crazy-Country.
This barmy weather has meant both the gardening and foraging have slowed down. The vegetable plot is looking bare without the April planting seeds in it (I really have to get around to that before it’s too late) and the fields are too muddy for wandering around in. Luckily though, some gems such as horseradish can be found growing in among the weeds on pretty much every grass verge in the country.
At this time of year it’s easily recognisable because – as pictured, the leaves stand proud and look somehow crisper and greener than their surroundings (pinch one off and sniff it if you aren’t sure – the smell is unmistakeable). Later in the year it’s still not too difficult (the leaves grow huge) and then in winter it’s practically impossible as the leaves disappear. Once found, all you have to do is dig – the roots are large and white and take quite a bit of effort to remove from the ground.
All you have to do to prepare the horseradish is cut it into sections discarding the wrinkly, old looking pieces, wash, then peel. If it’s really fresh try not to do it right under your face as the smell of horseradish truly hurts your sinuses (onions are for wimps!). Next step is to put a couple of capfuls of cider vinegar into a bowl, then grate the horseradish into it, stirring it around every now and again. I like to grate it quite coarsely, most people will probably prefer it finer, and it’ll last a good month in a sealed jar in the fridge once prepared in this way.
Recipe: World’s Best Horseradish Sauce Recipe
Summary: Horseradish is one of those hidden gems of foraging, growing in among the weeds on practically every grass verge in the country. This home-made horseradish sauce blows the mild shop bought varieties out of the water!
- 3 tbsp prepared Horseradish (see above)
- 1 tbsp Crème Fraiche or Sour Cream
- 1 tsp English Mustard (optional)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tsp Caster Sugar
- Simply place all ingredients minus the seasoning into a bowl, then mix well.
- Taste, then add more horseradish if you like it hotter.
- Add salt, pepper to taste, a pinch of each should be fine.
I like my horseradish sauce thick and hot, hence there’s more horseradish root in this recipe than anything else! You can thin it out with more cream, or purée the finished sauce for a more pourable variation.
A local farmers’ market sells Horseradish & Habanero Sauce which really does wipe your taste buds clean off your tongue. A tsp or so of minced chilli added to your sauce should do the trick!
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4