We love creamed horseradish with our Sunday dinner – even more so than English mustard. But as our regular green-fingered guest bloggers Nick and Rich explain, it’s time to give horseradish its due.
Horseradish is a much underrated vegetable with bad PR. If it had less of a comedy name and a fancy marketing push (much like the rebranding of pilchards as ‘Cornish sardines’) then we’re sure it would be a much more popular veg in our gardens, kitchens and bags of bar snacks. We have, after all, gone wild for wasabi – a root that offers near identical flavour and heat giving properties, yet is hard to grow even in its native Japan (so much so that most green coated nibbles and sushi sauces contain more horseradish and colouring than the expensive wasabi).
How to grow horseradish
Unlike the exotically monikered Asian import, horseradish grows very easily throughout the world. In fact, its roots are so adept at spreading and multiplying that it can quickly take over an allotment or garden. Careful growers harness this rapid coverage and use it as a weed barrier against their precious crops, the rest of us are better off sticking it in a large pot.
A small lump of root is all that’s required to start your own horseradish patch, and it needs no further attention apart from digging it up once the leaves have died back. Just make sure a few bits of root are left in place for the following year’s harvest.
Horseradish is best used fresh, grated into vinegar or cream for a traditional sauce, or mixed with mustard for the extra pungent ‘Tewkesbury mustard’. It can also be used to pep up other sauces and dips, such as ketchup and hummus, as you would with chillis – and the finer you grate, the hotter the results.
Of course, we’ve steeped some of our roots in booze for a fantastic, sinus busting horseradish vodka, which you can read all about here.
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Look out for more from Two Thirsty Gardeners next Friday, and do explore their blog!
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