Preparation: 25 min | Total-time: 30 min
The modern-day recipe for Escargot was invented around 1814, when Napoleon’s steward, Tallyrand, wanted to have lunch with Tsar Alexander I. They arrived at the restaurant so late that snails were the only thing that the cook had left to serve.
He added garlic and parsley to the snails in order to improve the taste and presentation of the meat. The men loved it, and Escargot has been popular around the world (but especially in France) ever since.
France is now considered one of the largest snail-eating countries in Europe. They eat over 16,000 tons of snails per year!
They are particularly popular around Christmastime, but are enjoyed as an appetizer year round.
Try something new?
- A Unique Appetizer: Escargot is an extremely popular appetizer in France, but in other countries it’s less common. This appetizer will get you out of your comfort zone and show you that eating unique dishes can be so rewarding! You’re going to love it!
- Simple: This dish is as easy to make as blending garlic butter, layering butter and snails, and baking. It takes only a few minutes of active work but feels so fancy that it will seem like you took hours to prepare it.
- “Travel” to France: If you’ve ever wanted a taste of France, this Escargot Recipe is the way to try it. You won’t get much for French than a delicious snail covered in garlic and parsley butter. And you’ll be hooked on French food forever more!
The garlicky sauce in this dish is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves; it’s hard to think of a better use for crusty bread than sopping up this luxurious “snail butter.” But the main event is the escargots’ tender texture and clean, woodsy flavor. When we ran this recipe in 1949, it took a full day’s work, most of it cleaning and prepping the fresh snails. We found that canned snails work just as well and turn this appetizer into one that can be whipped up anytime.
- 1 small garlic clove
- 3/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- 12 to 16 snails* (from a 7- to 8-oz can)
- About 2 cups kosher salt (for stabilizing snail shells)
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Using a heavy knife, mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1/8 teaspoon table salt.
Beat together butter, shallot, garlic paste, parsley, remaining 1/4 teaspoon table salt, and pepper in a small bowl with an electric mixer until combined well. Beat in wine until combined well.
Divide half of garlic butter among snail shells. Stuff 1 snail into each shell and top snails with remaining butter. Spread kosher salt in a shallow baking dish and nestle shells, butter sides up, in salt.
Bake snails until butter is melted and sizzling, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve immediately.
The escargots can be prepared, but not baked, up to 30 minutes ahead and kept at room temperature until ready to bake. · If you don’t have an escargot serving dish, serve the snails on a bed of kosher salt (to stabilize shells) on a platter.
Et Voilà, Bon Appétit!
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Recipe by the Epicurious