Harvesting our horseradish

The only edible thing I’ve found so far on our abandoned plot is horseradish.

When I took on the plot the area at the far end was really overgrown with reed-like plants and also this mass of huge leaves that looked like giant dock leaves.

horseradish plant

Horseradish leaves on the allotment 

I wasn’t sure what they were and I started clearing them away. Some googling suggested they could be horseradish, which apparently likes damp ground and is so easy to grow that it often spreads so much it can start to take over.

Here’s what I found under the mass of wet leaves: horseradish roots!

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Horseradish

It turns out horseradish is tricky to harvest, or mine is anyway. I dug in and tried to extract a root intact but what I ended up with didn’t really look like this nice photo in the Guardian.

Here it is all cleaned up, grated and ready to be added to mashed potato to make sausages and horseradish mash.

If you grow your own horseradish can I recommend NOT taking a deep, experimental sniff of it when it’s freshly grated? It turns out fresh horseradish is very pungent.

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