Put your garden snails to good use with this simple garden fresh escargot recipe!
Have you ever been out weeding in your garden and said, “Snails, yum!”? Didn’t think so! However, did you know that common garden snails – while a nasty pest in the garden – can actually be quite tasty? If you serve them with garlic butter, you may even call them by their fancy name…escargot.
While a certain type of snails are traditionally farm-raised for the French delicacy, common garden snails are actually just as good – and safe to consume if you cook and prepare them correctly. So, if you have a problem with snails in your garden, consider enjoying them as a gourmet treat!
Before you start, you will want to make sure to purge your snails properly via the instructions here, which does take a few days, so you’ll need to plan ahead.
Here is a delicious recipe for garden snails escargot:
Garden Snails A’La Escargot
Serves: 4 as an appetizer
- 24 garden snails, de-shelled and de-slimed (via instructions below)
- 24 snail shells (optional*)
- Rock salt (optional)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Crusty bread (for serving)
1. Prep the Snails:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the snails for 3 minutes.
- Drain and rinse with cool water.
- Remove the snails from their shells (tweezers work well for this).
- Bring a pot of 3 parts water and 1 part distilled white vinegar to a boil.
- Add snails and to remove their slime, about 3 minutes.
- Drain and proceed with instructions below.
2. Preheat an oven to 375°F.
3. Set the shells* in an escargot plate, if you’re lucky enough to own such an item. For the rest of us, set them in a small baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. You don’t want it too much bigger than all the shells because you want the melted butter to sort of stay with the snails, or in an escargot dish with individual wells for each snail. If they tip over too much, consider laying down a thin layer of rock salt to nestle them in so they stay steady. (Alternatively, follow instructions below if you aren’t using the shells.)
3. Peel and mince the garlic and the shallot. Mince the parsley.
4. In a small bowl, mash the butter with the garlic, shallot, and parsley to form as smooth of a paste as you can (you can also do this in a food processor if you have a mini one).
5. Add salt and pepper to taste—the amount of salt will depend on the salt level of your butter and the amount of pepper will depend on your love of black pepper.
6. Put a small amount of the butter in each shell, stuff in a snail, and top it all off with as much butter as you can stuff in the shell. Rearrange the shells as needed to keep them steady and bake until the butter is melted and the snails are tender, about 15 minutes.
7. Serve and enjoy! (Escargots are best served with plenty of bread—a nice crackly baguette is the traditional choice—to soak up the scads of garlic butter.)
* The shells are fun, but if you choose not to bother with the shells, simply put the prepared snails in a small baking dish or ramekin and top with the butter. Since the snails aren’t buried in protective shells, they only need to bake for about 10 minutes shell-less.