Fiery root unblocks your nose

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I’ve had a bit of a head cold and cough recently.

And when I’m a bit poorly all I want is some comfort food and to curl up on the sofa without any distractions.

This would be great, but I have a busy kitchen to run with hungry customers to feed so I had to wait for Sunday to fulfil my wish.

After a long stroll in Stoughton woods, which helped clear my sinuses, I returned home to start the cooking of our Sunday roast.

I had bought a joint of beef and always have some horseradish floating about the fridge.

Horseradish, a cousin of the mustard and wasabi plants, is another knobbly vegetable that tends to appear in the winter months.

The fresh root is so much better than the jars of horseradish sauce that are filled with turnips and vinegar.

It is quite difficult to get hold of, but if you ask your local greengrocer I’m sure they will get it for you.

As you peel and grate the horseradish your eyes may start to stream and it sure helps to clear those blocked sinuses.

It was fantastic with my roast beef but also works really well with smoked mackerel or, as in this recipe, with smoked or cured salmon and pickled cucumber.

Smoked salmon with horseradish cream and pickled cucumber

Ingredients

250g cured or smoked salmon

100ml double cream

Teaspoon lime juice

Tablespoon finely grated horseradish

Sea salt

Half a cucumber

150ml white wine vinegar

50ml water

Pinch sea salt

50g sugar

12 white peppercorns

2 radishes

Method

1. Make the cucumber pickle first by bringing the vinegar, water, salt and peppercorns to boil in a pan.

2. Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. Using a potato peeler, peel thin ribbons of cucumber into the pickle solution.

4. Place in the fridge.

5. Mix the grated horseradish with the lime juice and salt.

6. Add the cream and whisk until firm.

7. Slice the radishes finely and place on your plates.

8. Place the fish on the plates and add the cucumber and the horseradish cream, which can be folded between two spoons.

9. I used dried cucumber to sprinkle around the plate, but you can use ground pepper.