Snails~ sicilian style

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Land snails
\N \N Water
\N \N Salt
2 \N Cloves garlic finely chopped
¼ cup Olive oil
\N \N Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Lemon juice

Serves 6 to 8.

1. There is a small membrane, known as an operculum, at the opening of each snail. Use a toothpick to remove this membrane and it will come off easily. 2. Place the snails in a basin and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Drain and rinse once more in cold water that contains a generous amount of salt.

Rinse once more in cold water before cooking.

3. Add four quarts of cold water to a kettle and add the snails and about three tablespoons salt.

Bring slowly to a boil and simmer six minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Meanwhile, place the garlic and one teaspoon of salt in a small, heavy bowl. Crush the garlic with a pestle or the back of a heavy spoon to make a paste. Add the oil, pepper (to taste), lemon juice, and six tablespoons cold water.

Stir with a whisk to blend. 5. Drain the snails and serve hot with the sauce cold. Note: To eat the snails, pull out the meat with a pick and dip them one at a time in the sauce. The whole snail may be eaten, although the most fastidious prefer to skip the soft after end of the meat, which is the digestive tract.

[From "The New York Times International Cookbook."]

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