Make sure you source a good-quality smoked eel. We buy ours from the Dutch Eel Company in Lincolnshire, which rather surprisingly is the only eel merchant based in the UK. Serving the eel warm with the remaining ingredients at room temperature makes the whole ensemble much more appetising.
Cheltenham beetroot, more correctly Cheltenham Green Top Beetroot, is one of the oldest varieties of this underrated native vegetable. It is long in shape, very sweet and has a fine earthy flavour. A good greengrocer will be able to source if for you and many good farm shops and pick-your-owns have it.
First make the horseradish cream by whipping the double cream to soft peaks then folding in the horseradish to taste. Chill.
Make the beetroot purée by blending all the ingredients together with a little water, if necessary, to make it spoonable but keeping a shape.
Cut the eel into individual portions, about
Serve the pieces of eel with the beetroots, beetroot purée and the horseradish cream. Garnish with sprigs of young watercress or land cress, if you like.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.