Watch How to Cook Well with Rory O'Connell at 8:30pm on Tuesday evenings on RTÉ One.


As unlikely as this combination may sound, in reality it is delicious. I serve it with warm poached salmon, with smoked fish and can also easily envisage a meal where it would happily accompany grilled or roast beef or lamb. It is also delicious with venison. 

It is really worth searching out fresh horseradish root whenever it is called for as the pre-grated and pickled product is invariably too vinegary and the sweet fiercely hot charm of the fresh root is lost. The root itself is easy to grow though it is best to leave it for a couple of years to get established before enjoying it in your kitchen. It also has a spreading habit so bear that in mind when planting.

The fresh horseradish that is sold in shops and greengrocers is almost all imported which is a pity as it seems to thrive in this part of the world. It does grow wild in some parts if the country but you will need to know your horseradish leaves from your dock leaves to make an accurate identification. However in the event of confusion over the leaves, once dug up, cracked open and smelt, the aroma of the root is instantly recognizable with its sinus cleansing vapour and sweet scent. It is truly an ingredient that I would be lost without.

Serves 6

  • 50g shelled walnuts
  • 30 - 50g grated peeled fresh horseradish
  • 1 level teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white breadcrumbs
  • 75ml cream
  • 75ml crème fraiche
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper


  1. Chop the walnuts finely and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Mix gently to combine and taste and correct seasoning.