This morning I had a lovely surprise. I got back from the school run, to find a foraging friend of mine waiting for me with a bag full of wild horseradish tubers. She knew that I had been trying to find some growing in our locality, so when she and her husband spotted some while out driving, they kindly stopped, and dug some up for me.
First I chose some bits of root that still had shoots on, and looked likely candidates to grow, and planted them on the edge of our plot – hopefully they’ll take, and naturalise there. We have a footpath running along that boundary, so if they do take, some other eagle-eyed foragers may benefit too.
I then gave the rest of the roots a good wash.
And used a sharp knife to peel them (half to be precise, the rest are currently stored in the fridge).
As I peeled, I left a few of the woodier bits to one side, for the second recipe I had in mind. The rest I roughly chopped ready to be blended into Horseradish Sauce.
I have read that the volatile oils in horseradish have the same effect as onions on the eyes, and can be quite unpleasant if you put your face too close, and breath them in. So I resisted the urge to take a deep sniff, and didn’t have any problems with streaming eyes.
To blend I added a generous pinch of salt, and enough cider vinegar and water in equal parts, to allow the root to blend into a fairly smooth consistency, then simply bottled it into little clean jars, that had been sterilised in a warm oven for a few minutes.
I then tried it, and it tastes amazing! Both as it was made, and also with a little mayonnaise mixed in, to make a dressing for a salad for lunch.
The reason I have been on the look out for wild horseradish is I have wanted to make horseradish infused vodka for some time now, ever since I saw a recipe a couple of years ago. I though it sounded a fab idea for our home-made hampers, and a great ingredient for home-made Bloody Marys.
To the mix I added a generous handful of Ground Ivy (it’s not an Ivy, despite it’s name – it’s a member of the mint family), which has a wonderful, savoury smell, and is meant to make a fabulous rub for meat, and simply poured the vodka over the top. It’ll sit in a dark place for a month or so, then we’ll try it and decided whether to take the ingredients out, or leave them a little longer. I’m hoping to produce something with a little bit of a kick!
To see how our infusion turned out, check out our update Wild Horseradish and Ground Ivy Infused Vodka.