Horseradish might look like an unremarkable root vegetable, but if you've ever experienced its fiery wrath, you'll know that this brassica bites.
Most of us will be familiar with horseradish as the lonely supermarket jar of sauce lurking at the back of the fridge, patiently awaiting the company of a succulent side of roast beef. But fresh horseradish is far more exciting.
If you've not yet made your own horseradish sauce, it's so rewarding to release that zingy pepperiness fresh from the root. Plus, the spiciness is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat and great for waking up side dishes and winter salads.
What is Horseradish?
This brown and knobbly root vegetable with a crisp white interior has a long and international history. It's a member of the mustard family, but it's nostril blasting tendencies will remind you of a close relative, fiery wasabi. In fact, fake wasabi is often nothing more than horseradish and green food colouring.
How to cook with horseradish
Horseradish is best used raw as cooking destroys its pungent properties. The magic happens when the compounds in the horseradish are activated when the ivory flesh is shredded or grated.
Here are some simple recipe ideas to get taming this spicy root vegetable in your kitchen:
Horseradish sauce recipe
How to make Creme fraiche horseradish sauce
Simply peel a horseradish and grate coarsely, break down further with a knife. Place the horseradish in a bowl and add in some good quality creme fraiche, mix and season with salt and pepper, add a drop of red wine vinegar and stir through. Taste for heat strength and add more horseradish accordingly.
The sauce will keep sealed in the fridge for a week. Jo from River Cafe in London shows how it's done in the clip below:
Potato Pancakes with horseradish cream
Start the day in a decadent way with these pancakes stacked with salmon, caviar and horseradish cream. Find the recipe here
Rib of Beef with Horseradish Yorkshire puddings
Roast beef and horseradish are one of the most classic pairings, but as usual, Ramsay comes up with a flavourful twist on a favourite:
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Give your mash a kick by adding some heat with horseradish. Boil your potatoes as you usually would for mash, add butter and season before stirring through freshly shredded horseradish. Find the epicurious recipe here.