Escargot En Croute

Morocco?s French-inspired cuisine shines through this bistro classic.

  • Preparation Time40 mins
  • Cooking Time45 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium
1 baguette, sliced diagonally
Olive oil

For the stock

10ml olive oil
2 red onions, cut into large blocks
4 garlic cloves, crushed
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
2kg fresh purged snails in the shell
1 litre water, or enough to cover the snails

For the cheese sauce

10ml olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
240ml fresh cream
125g ripe Brie, cut into small blocks
20g fresh parsley, chopped

For the side salad

1 cucumber, sliced
1 handful cherry tomatoes
1 mixed handful dill, basil and mint, roughly chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
Mixed salad leaves
Spring onion or red onion
Lemon juice
Olive oil

For the wilted spinach

1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bunch of spinach, stems removed and washed
Salt
Pepper

For the stock, heat the olive oil in a pot and gently sauté the onions until softened, then add the garlic and thyme and stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the snails and cover with water. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, then remove the snails and allow to cool. Remove the snail meat from the shells using a tooth pick and keep aside.

For the cheese sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pan or medium wok and melt in the butter. Add the garlic and thyme and allow the butter to become fragrant. Add the cream and simmer gently, allowing to reduce and thicken. Stir in the brie until melted, then scatter over the chopped parsley. Add the snail meat and a little more garlic and allow to simmer gently to warm the snails through.

For the salad mix together the cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, radishes, salad leaves and onion. Dress the salad with a splash of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil just before you serve it.

For the spinach, heat the butter in a pan with the garlic, until fragrant, then add the spinach and stir-fry until wilted and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. For the bread, brush the baguette with olive oil and grill until golden. Divide the spinach between four plates and top with a little cheese sauce. Place a toasted baguette slice on top of the spinach and spoon over the snail and brie sauce. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve with the side salad.

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