Friday, 27 May 2011
It's that time of year again Helix aspersa or the common garden snail is out of hiding and on the move. Towards my dinner table.
The plateful in the picture were harvested (picked?) from a pile of unused border tiles in a wooded, but still inner-city (zone 2) London garden. I kept then in a lidded bucket and fed them on salad trimmings for two days which purged all the grit they had accumulated from their natural diet. Then they were fed for two days on white bread. The bread passing through the snails and staying white, tells you the purge is complete. A lot of recipes say you only need to purge them for twenty four hours but my 'white bread test' reveals that it's not quite long enough.
Boiled, rinsed and boiled again (approx. 5-10 changes of water) until the slime and froth were gone. Stuffed back into their shells with a dab of parsley, garlic and butter. I baked them until I could stand the deliciousness of the smell no longer. Served with rustic bread to mop up the melted butter. Yummy.