When was the last time you saw land snails or escargot on a menu? They are normally left to the top chefs to cook with (remember Heston’s snail porridge?) but have been a staple food around the world for a very long time.
They are high in protein and low in fat and fresh snails have a meaty texture with a great earthy taste. If you’ve ever eaten tinned snails – don’t let that experience influence your decision to try fresh snails. There is no comparison.
My snails came from Dorset Snails and they supply some of the best UK restaurants so I was delighted to get my hands on some escargot shells with some blanched escargot and to cook some traditional woodfired garlic snails.
I made a mixture of salted butter, chopped parsley, crushed garlic, salt and pepper.
Using a tooth pick I inserted the blanched escargot into the shells and filled the shells up with my garlic butter.
Using a fire proof pan, I placed my escargot into my pizza oven next to the heat for about 2-3 minutes. Really it is as simple as that!
They were totally delicious – I love the meaty flavour and, even though I started with the most French recipe ever, there are endless recipe variations with snails.
Definitely worth a try!
Photos by Andrew Plant