It is dark and cold, quiet and cozy as Bear and I hunker down in our little house keeping warm and recovering from a pernicious flu bug we picked up on our travels. The weather has been perfect for recovery, cocooning us in clouds and rain and solitude, giving us time for long naps and big bowls of soup.
I still go out to my gardens once a day, rugged up against biting winter winds and drenching drizzle. There’s always an abundance of greens – rainbow chard, mustard, mizuna, radicchio, and others – and this week I dug up enormous sweet potatoes, long, pale sticks of horseradish, and picked fat pods of sugar snap peas off a verdant tangle of vines.
I have a soft spot for horseradish. It makes me think of Danish smørrebrød – open-faced sandwiches made of thin, dense rye bread spread with a creamy, peppery horseradish sauce and piled high with curled slices of rare roast beef. Swoon.
In the past I’ve used pre-made horseradish sauce, but when my friend Oma gave me sprouted cuttings of horseradish root to plant, I was determined to make my own from start to finish.
It was finally ready this week and I dug it up with great anticipation, brushing off clinging bits of our lovely black soil. I trimmed off the sprouted bits and put them in water to root and plant again, then washed and peeled the horseradish root.
NOTE: Fresh horseradish is potent stuff that will quickly set your eyes and nose running if you aren’t careful, so be sure to cut it in a well-ventilated area.
I cut it into thin slices then popped it in the food processor with a few spoonfuls of Meyer lemon and blitzed it until it was finely chopped.
I chopped scallions and picked fresh dill from my garden – is there anything so lusciously fragrant?! – and added them to the mix.
Bear isn’t a diehard fan of horseradish like I am, but he obliged me by taste-testing and to his surprise he liked it. His eyes lit up and he declared that it would be an excellent accompaniment to beef or gamier meat like goat or lamb.
Tonight we’re having it for dinner with roast beef, dilled carrots, and boiled potatoes topped with one of my favorite Danish sauces – white with lashings of chopped fresh parsley.
Have you read anything good lately? xo
Horseradish Cream Sauce
½ cup finely chopped horseradish
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups sour cream, plain yogurt, or cottage cheese
2 scallions, sliced
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
Combine everything in food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy.