Escargots (snails) are a favorite in my native Burgundy, where they’re usually loaded up with so much garlic you can’t really taste—or smell—much else. But good escargots, with their intriguingly earthy flavor, are worth tasting. I still like garlic with escargots, but I’ve found a way to soften it by adding a dollop of shallot mousse, which adds a high note but isn’t too domineering. Also, the sharpness of the shallots is muted by the parsley coulis.
For the shallot mousse
Cook the shallots in a medium saucepan of boiling water until very soft, about 8 minutes.
Drain the water.
Transfer the shallots to a food processor and purée until smooth.
Press the shallot purée through a fine-mesh strainer and into a small bowl.
Cover and refrigerate until cold.
Beat the cream in a large bowl until stiff.
Fold the cold shallot purée into the cream.
Season the shallot mousse to taste with fleur de sel and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate.
Do ahead: The mousse can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.
For the parsley coulis
Cook the parsley in a large pot of boiling salted water until the leaves are very soft but still green, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the parsley to a large bowl of ice water to cool.
Transfer the parsley to a food processor and purée with 3 ice cubes until smooth.
Stir the parsley coulis in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not boiling.
Whisk in the butter.
Season the coulis to taste with fleur de sel and pepper.
For the escargots
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add the escargots and sauté just until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the garlic and parsley; toss to coat the escargots.
Season to taste with fleur de sel and pepper.
To assemble and serve
Spoon the shallot mousse in the center of 6 large dinner plates.
Spoon the parsley coulis around the mousse and arrange 12 escargots on each plate atop the coulis.
Garnish with peashoots or watercress and serve immediately.
This recipe is included in the book Crave. The Feast of the Five Senses by Ludo Lefebvre