Mes Escargots

So, I love snails. Shoot me. At least I think I love them. You could probably smother bits of shoe soles in a garlicky butter and parsley sauce, bake them, and serve them with good, crusty bread, and they would be good, too.

I was raised on snails, so they never scared me. Now, honestly, I don’t want to think about them really being snails because, well, snails are icky.

Recently I realized that I’ve never prepared my own L’escargots. And, it was about time to rectify this.

Funny anecdote: Right before we got married, my fiancé and I visited my mother, a couple of weeks before our elopement would occur.

My mother, being who she is, French, wanted to make my future husband happy, so for the first celebratory meal she prepared for us, it began with snails. And, he ate them. He ate other things, too. I guess he really loved me.

Photos below show two times I had l’escargots in France, in Avignon and Tourettes.

Here is a snail dish I had in Aix en Provence – snails on a salad. I’d always enjoyed l’escargots the traditional way, but this salad was superb.

To make snails the traditional way, you need snail shells, and you need snails. Fortunately one doesn’t have to forage in garden for either.

Escargots à la Bourguignonne
based on recipe in Saveur
makes 24

16 tablespoons butter
1/4 minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon cognac
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
24 extra-large snail shells
24 canned extra-large snails
Rock salt
Country bread

In a bowl, whisk together butter, parsley, wine, cognac, garlic, and shallots with a fork. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of butter mixture into each snail shell.

Push a snail into each shell; fill shells with remaining butter mixture.

Cover bottom of a baking dish with a layer of rock salt to stabilize the snail shells.

Arrange snail shells, butter side up, on the salt and bake until butter sizzles, about 10-12 minutes.

Serve hot with bread.

Alternatively, to prepare l’escargots, you don’t need snail shells, just ceramic dishes with round indentations.

Put a snail and the butter in each indentation, then bake the same way in a hot oven.

You’ll still need a little fork and good bread.

Snails are a wonderful excuse to eat bread soaked in a garlic parsley butter.

 

 

By Published On: March 2nd, 201868 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

68 Comments

  1. Nancy March 2, 2018 at 6:16 AM - Reply

    My, my, Mimi! This is a wonderfully descriptive post featuring something I never dreamed I could make at home. I can’t wait to try this recipe. The photos were especially helpful.
    Thank you!

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 6:47 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  2. Frank Fariello March 2, 2018 at 6:21 AM - Reply

    I think it really is mostly the sauce that make escargots so delicious, but who cares? I love them, too, especially with a nice crusty baguette to sop up those juices. Heaven!

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 6:47 AM - Reply

      Exactly. But they are heavenly. They’re fun to eat, and take some time, which I enjoy.

  3. Ron March 2, 2018 at 6:55 AM - Reply

    One of my all time favorites. With that said, I’ve not made Escargot in sometime. Now you got me thinking, where’s our Escargot plates??? OK, as soon as I can find those guys I’m making Escargot.

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      Fun! I never truly realized how ugly these things were until I made them the other day! They definitely look much better covered in parsley, sitting on bread!

  4. Linda Duffin March 2, 2018 at 8:46 AM - Reply

    Gosh, that took me back! I remember eating these for the first time was I was 11, on a school trip to Paris. It was bravado, really, and I can take or leave the actual snails, but I still love the garlic butter sauce!

  5. Linda Duffin March 2, 2018 at 8:47 AM - Reply

    “when” I was 11. Duh.

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 12:29 PM - Reply

      I think that’s the case with all of us, really. In fact, those naked snails are truly ugly.

  6. Chica Andaluza March 2, 2018 at 9:37 AM - Reply

    Ooh, I love them too, and I especially love mopping up the juices with lots of crusty bread. Bizarrely I’m not so keen on whelks (which are effectively sea snails) and Big Man is all contrary…he enjoys whelks but won’t eat snails! In Jerez, Andalucia they serve little glasses of tiny snails cooked in a spicy broth with chill and anis…delicious!

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 12:31 PM - Reply

      That sounds so good! I’ve had sea snails in France, and I liked those too! My Chinese friend was just telling me about snails they used to get that lived in the rice paddies. They stir fried them with garlic and ginger, added a little soy sauce and something she thought was alcoholic. Mirin? Anyway, that sounds good, too! As long as someone else does the harvesting…

      • Chica Andaluza March 2, 2018 at 1:19 PM

        Sounds delicious ! Yes, I think it must be Mirin..

  7. anotherfoodieblogger March 2, 2018 at 11:01 AM - Reply

    You crack me up about the shoe soles! I love your snail serving crocks, Would be great for small oysters, too!

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 12:32 PM - Reply

      Well, I think everyone is in agreement that the butter is way better than the actual snails!

  8. Our Growing Paynes March 2, 2018 at 11:03 AM - Reply

    Oh very nicely done. I love escargot but it can be tricky to find them cooked properly. These look perfect.

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 12:32 PM - Reply

      Thanks so much! It was fun making them at home. And watching my husband’s face.

  9. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso March 2, 2018 at 11:29 AM - Reply

    I wasn’t raised on snails, so it wasn’t an easy start. I then worked at a restaurant where we got the live ones… I will not go into details, but the process of preparing them is not for the squeamish. I handled it, but never ate them since… I do love the butter though! :)

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 12:33 PM - Reply

      Oh, well thanks for sparing me. I don’t blame you for not touching them. Just brown a dish of the good butter and add bread! Forget the snails.

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso March 2, 2018 at 1:24 PM

        Indeed… I sometimes also use the butter with shrimps. Works great. :)

  10. Bill March 2, 2018 at 11:51 AM - Reply

    I wonder if there’s a correlation between liking snails and liking oysters? I know it’s true here at the house :). I’ve been eating them since I was fairly young, so I grew up liking them. I’ve got one kid who’s in, and one who’s no way. Ah well. Looking forward to the next time now. Thanks.

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 12:35 PM - Reply

      That’s funny you said that because i was just talking to a friend about that very thing. At least snails are bite size. Not so much oysters. It might be frowned upon, but I’m not above taking a knife and fork to any huge oysters I might be served!

  11. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward March 2, 2018 at 5:05 PM - Reply

    Double the recipe…. :-)

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 10:12 AM - Reply

      Yes, Mam!

  12. annika March 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM - Reply

    Looks amazing… wonderful photos!

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 5:43 PM - Reply

      Thank you Annika!

  13. David March 2, 2018 at 11:50 PM - Reply

    I also love snails, but must have them with shallots instead of garlic. They really do taste wonderful…

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 10:12 AM - Reply

      There was garlic and shallots in this butter. But are you allergic to garlic?

  14. Fran @ G'day Souffle' March 3, 2018 at 12:03 AM - Reply

    Oh, you’re courageous! I remember the chef in Paris saying that you need to buy specifically prepared snails in order to eat them. I suppose the reason that some people are turned off by them is that they think of the slimy snails they see in their garden! But hey, I’m game- especially if I have some yummy bread to sop up the juices!

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 10:12 AM - Reply

      Well when you buy them in cans, they are cooked. So really they’re just warmed in the browning butter. I would certainly want nothing to do with harvesting and prepping snails!

  15. Darya March 3, 2018 at 1:45 AM - Reply

    Snails were the first daring food I tasted when I was a teen luving on pasta, pizza, and chicken breast. I live their chewiness. But of course it is the garlic-parsley butter and good bread that make the difference. In Spain I loved the tiny snails in Valencian paella, it made the dish special (despite snails not really having a taste). That salad looks intriguing, and a nice change! Nice post, Mimi

    • Darya March 3, 2018 at 1:45 AM - Reply

      Living not luving*

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 10:10 AM - Reply

      Thank you Darya! They were really fun on the salad. And you’re right – they’re not a taste – they’re a texture!

  16. Conor Bofin March 3, 2018 at 8:51 AM - Reply

    I have had great snails. I have had awful snails. I have never had a whelk that didn’t chew like an old boot. If I never have another snail or whelk, I won’t be sad. However, these do look tasty…

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 10:09 AM - Reply

      Hahahahaha!

  17. chefkreso March 3, 2018 at 1:28 PM - Reply

    Never had Escargots but I’m really planning on doing them, just have to get my family on board :D

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 5:42 PM - Reply

      Not to be negative, but don’t hold your breath!

  18. Loretta March 3, 2018 at 1:46 PM - Reply

    Wait a sec……where did you say you lived? WOW!!! Just salivating, it’s been sometime since I’ve indulged in that delicacy! Prob the last time in France. Hmmmmm, will have to rectify that soon, like you :)

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 5:42 PM - Reply

      Well, me, too! That’s why I decided I needed to make them myself!

  19. Debra Eliotseats March 4, 2018 at 6:31 PM - Reply

    Yes, I am sure that there are lots of things that I would eat if they were doused in butter and parsley! :)

    • chef mimi March 4, 2018 at 6:31 PM - Reply

      Exactly.

  20. Gather and Graze March 5, 2018 at 7:15 PM - Reply

    A firm French favourite of mine too Mimi! Delicious! :)

    • chef mimi March 5, 2018 at 7:16 PM - Reply

      So delicious!

  21. StefanGourmet March 6, 2018 at 1:24 AM - Reply

    I love snails but I have never prepared them myself as I’d want to prepare them fresh and wouldn’t even know where to get them (although in summer there are plenty of snails to be found in our backyard, they are not the same variety. I still remember the first time I had snails 35 years ago in a hotel in Chamonix. It was in one of those pans with holes and I liked them.

    • chef mimi March 6, 2018 at 6:44 AM - Reply

      I honestly have no idea where they would be sold just-pulled-out-of-the-shell, but I’m no expert. My mother always used the shells and the canned snails – I think they’re just poached. But good luck!

  22. David @ Spiced March 6, 2018 at 6:37 AM - Reply

    I have to admit that I’m not a snail kinda guy, but this post makes them look delicious! Plus, canned snails?? I don’t think I’ve ever seen those! Thanks for opening my eyes up to a new recipe. :-)

    • chef mimi March 6, 2018 at 6:42 AM - Reply

      I think that’s the only way to make them at home, unless you harvest your own. Ick.

  23. scarletclark March 6, 2018 at 10:02 AM - Reply

    Oh my – I just can’t. I’m terrified! I’m not sure why as I was brought up on little shellfish like cockles and mussles and they can’t be that different. You do manage to make them sound so much more appealing than anyone else has done so far though, which is some acomplishment! Beautiful photography on the recipe xxx

    • chef mimi March 6, 2018 at 12:31 PM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! Thank you!

  24. Vinny Grette March 6, 2018 at 3:13 PM - Reply

    I always loved snails… that is until I made them myself. After that, I couldn’t get the image of the ugly little critters out of my mind. My younger daughter loved snails so much as a child, she ordered them every time they were on the menu. On a family holiday through Quebec once, she ate them at every meal. We had to keep the car windows cracked to air out the vehicle. I still like to order them at a good restaurant, but refrain from making them myself. I would definitely dig in to the delicious looking platters of snails you have made, though!

    • chef mimi March 7, 2018 at 8:12 AM - Reply

      Well they are certainly unattractive – that’s exactly what I said to my husband. Wasn’t I aware of what they looked like when I pulled them out of their shells??!!! That’s so funny about your daughter. I had a garlic-loving baby as well – loved eating straight pesto!

  25. Vinny Grette March 6, 2018 at 3:16 PM - Reply

    PS – I did post about snails, myself, a few years back, with a lo-cal version of my daughter’s addiction – https://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/escargots-and-chocolate-milk/

    • chef mimi March 7, 2018 at 8:12 AM - Reply

      I’ll check it out!

  26. kitchenriffs March 7, 2018 at 10:30 AM - Reply

    I haven’t had snails in ages! And I’ve never made them. I need to — they’re so good. Well, the better/garlic sauce is. You’re right — I don’t know exactly what they taste like, just the sauce. :-)

    • chef mimi March 7, 2018 at 12:58 PM - Reply

      It’s best that way!

  27. Greg Henry (@sippitysup) March 7, 2018 at 1:47 PM - Reply

    I love snails to but I’ve never made them. I sometimes think about grabbing a bunch from my California garden. I’ve heard they are the exact same kind they eat in France. It seems all you need to do is feed them clean iceberg lettuce for a while, then withhold food for a few days and they are safe and clean to eat. However, what if I’m wrong about any of this. So (just like mushrooms) I leave the harvesting to experts. Thanks for the recipe (just in case though). GREG

    • chef mimi March 7, 2018 at 3:18 PM - Reply

      Ew. No, I want nothing to do with snails like that. I don’t know if you can have a lethal allergic reaction to a snail, but beyond that I just don’t want to think about actual snails. Or lambs, or anything.

  28. Debbie Spivey March 7, 2018 at 2:30 PM - Reply

    I have always been curious, just never had the opportunity to eat snails. I would definitley try this!

    • chef mimi March 7, 2018 at 3:16 PM - Reply

      You’d love them! Or, at least, you’d love the butter!

  29. heather (delicious not gorgeous) March 8, 2018 at 12:34 AM - Reply

    i was going to try them years ago when on a cruise. never got the chance to, though, since me + boat + rocking waves = not eating (to put it nicely, haha). going to paris this summer though, so i’ll have to find some! (:

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      Oh, well you’ll find them there for sure. They’re worth trying!

  30. myhomefoodthatsamore March 8, 2018 at 4:34 AM - Reply

    Delicious! I love escargots but can’t remember the last time I had them. Might be difficult to find in Rome, but you’ve just prompted me to go and search for some !

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 7:44 AM - Reply

      You can just whip up some of that garlic parsley butter and spread it on everything!

  31. Gerlinde March 9, 2018 at 12:28 AM - Reply

    I like eating them occasionally, but I haven’t prepared them since my girlfriend and I tried to clean garden snails in Germany decades ago and found them crawling all over our apartment the next morning. We let them go.

    • chef mimi March 9, 2018 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      Ew!!!

  32. Rosemarie Malin May 8, 2018 at 6:48 PM - Reply

    I adore this recipe!

    • chef mimi May 8, 2018 at 7:15 PM - Reply

      Thank you!

  33. 數學家教 August 19, 2022 at 3:50 AM - Reply

    Hey I try out your recipe and the result’s amazing! p.s. It’s real hard to find eatable snail in Asia :<

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