Snails in garlic butter are the ultimate French appetiser and they’re actually quite easy to prepare at home. You can cook and serve them in shells but I like them cooked in a special snail gratin dish. If you don’t have one, use an oven proof dish to suit.
Snails are a much loved dish in France. It’s said that the French eat a whopping 500,000,000 snails every years. There are loads of ways to cook them but the classic way is in a garlic sauce made very green with lots of parsley. You can cook them in the cleaned shells, in a special snail dish or in a dish small enough to keep the sauce bubbling over the snails.
How to cook snails in garlic butter for two people
100g Unsalted Butter
2 Garlic cloves finely minced (if you’re a real fan of garlic – add another clove or two!)
1 Shallot finely minced
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
12 Canned snails (rinse and dry them)
1 Tablespoon bread crumbs
Generous pinch of salt
Salt and pepper for seasoning
How to prepare snails in garlic butter
In a saucepan over a medium heat add a little butter and the shallots. Then, season with the salt and pepper and cook gently for 10 minutes. Put the snails in a gratin dish, or similar.
In a separate bowl mix together the butter, garlic, parsley, salt and breadcrumbs.
Spoon a teaspoon of the garlic butter over each snail (or, if you’re cooking in the shell, cover the snails with the mix).
Put in the oven at Gas mark 4/180 deg F/230 deg C for 10-12 minutes. (up to 15 minutes maximum if in the shell).
Serve this scrumptious snail dish while it’s still bubbling – guaranteed to get you an “ooh la la”.
Mop the garlic butter up with a hunk of crispy French bread and toast with a glass of Champagne.
Read about the British snail farmer in northern France who is wowing the French.
More delicious French appetisers
Check out this scrumptious cheesy gougeres recipe – guaranteed to make you happy!
Gooey baked Camembert – resistance is futile!
Michel Roux Jr’s delicious apple and chestnut soup