I rarely come across a root of horseradish so when I spotted one at Julian's Veg at Houghton Hall Garden Centre, Carlisle I proprietorially popped it into my basket. I hadn't any idea what I'd do with it, but suddenly my afternoon took on a frisson of excitement (yup - I realised how sad that sounds).

My timing couldn't have been better as my trip to the garden centre came just as horseradish was ready to harvest, so while mine was unlikely to have been subjected to a first frost (when the taste becomes more intense) it was certainly a seasonal find.

Looking for inspiration, my first stop was Nigel Slater's 2010 article on recipes with horseradish. His soured cream with horseradish, mustard and dill was the perfect accompaniment for his pepped up beef meatballs which I served with a colourful bowl of roasted mediterranean vegetables.