They say to be very careful when dealing with fresh horseradish root. Breathing the fumes as you grate it can lead to hours of pain and streaming eyes. So I was careful when lifting my first crop today.
You really have to dig as the roots – which are the part you eat – grow deep and wide and fix themselves firmly into the ground. If you leave any, the plant will grow back. And keep growing until it takes over your garden. And your neighbours’ gardens. I got out as much as I could but am sure some remains.
The roots weren’t as thick as I expected, but there was a useful amount.
I chopped half into one inch pieces and put them in the freezer. The rest I grated, during which the legendary pungency started to take its toll as my disposable rubber gloves began to dissolve. Oh yes, this stuff kicks sand in the face of the Scoville scale.
Like immersing nuclear fuel rods in water, I poured olive oil over the grated horseradish to arrive at my initial aim: a jar of fiery oil which will keep for four weeks in the fridge.
It’ll be great drizzled onto flat bread, used to fry steak or even mixed sparingly into a salad. I’ll keep a bottle of milk at hand..