The mollusk of the forest, snails have been consumed since pre-historic times and were considered a luxury by the Romans. Helix Pomatia, also known as the Burgundy or Roman Snail, is one of the most coveted edible species in France and are harvested under strict laws protecting their sustainability and habitat. Their flavor when cooked is quite mild, often compared to mushrooms in taste and texture which is why they are most often cooked in a flavorful sauce. In our opinion, you can’t do any better than Anthony Bourdain’s intensely garlicky, parsley butter recipe below from his Les Halles Cookbook. Also, as even Bourdain admits, snails are pretty ugly so this gorgeous, emerald stuffing is kind of a necessity for a stunning presentation.
Escargot Recipe – adapted from Anthony Bourdain’s recipe from his Les Halles Cookbook
- 24 snails
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1 oz flat parsley leaves
- 4 oz butter
- Salt and pepper
- baguette slices
- snail shells (optional)
In the small sauté pan, combine the snails, shallot, and white wine and bring to a simmer, then cook for 15 minutes. Drain and set the snails aside.
Combine the garlic and parsley in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the butter and process until the mixture is a smooth, green paste. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a snail in each shell and then fill the shell to the top with the parsley butter. Preheat the oven broiler, place the snails in a baking dish, and broil until the butter is sizzling. Serve immediately with baguette slices.
If you don’t have shells, line a sauté pan with baguette slices, add the parsley butter, and melt over high heat. When the butter is melted, add the snails. As soon as the butter is sizzling, remove from the oven and serve immediately.