Snail Stew (Crete, Greece)

Snail stew is a marvellous appetizer, which you will find in many Greek tavernas. If the snails are collected from an area where there is a lot of thyme, they will be even tastier.

  • 1kg of large snails
  • 1 kg of spring onions
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of oil
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • salt & pepper

Put the snails in a pot with water to stand overnight. Cover with something heavy so they don't escape. Wash them well, removing all dirt.
Put them on to heat with water. When some scum begins to appear on the surface, usually just before boiling, add salt and stir vigorously, always in the same direction. Boil for about 15 minutes. Take a knife (it should be very sharp) and make a hole in the back of the shell. Rinse them well in water in which they have been boiled so that they don't loose their taste.
Skin and wash the onions. Put the oil, the onions and the garlic in a saucepan to brown.
Add the tomatoes, skinned and chopped, the bay leaves, the rosemary and the salt and pepper. Supplement with water, then cover and allow to simmer together until moisture has been absorbed and only sauce remains. It is ready to serve.

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