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Rice with Snails and veggies

This is one of my favourite dishes ever! Earthy ingredients for a magical result! Whenever a dish contains snails, rice and artichokes in it, be sure I will cook it in my kitchen.

In my family, we are all great snails predators… if my mother, or I find some fresh snails in the market… a family meeting is about to happen! 2 or 3 kilos will be devoured by 11 insatiable snails-eaters!

Lleida is one of the Catalan cities were snails have a very important part in their traditional gastronomy. There’s a big Event going on every year considered a National Touristic Feast where 200.000 participants assist and 12 snail tones are cooked and eaten. This year they have celebrated the 29th edition. Click the left red icon for more info (only available in catalan, sorry about that)

There’s many ways to cook them, see 3 other recipes here. And also in this blog in the near future: Snails “a la llauna”, Rabbit and snails, Snails’ brochette with Allioli…

Adding the snails to the rice casserole will give a herbs and forest flavour to this dish. Mmmmm! I bought this ones to a couple of farmers whom assured me that the snails were from a field of their own where Rosemary and Fennel were the predominant herbs.

Ingredients for 4 servings: 1 kilo of snails (for this recipe just need 3 handful or 4. Use the rest of the boiled snails for another recipe), 2 spring thyme, 1 spring of rosemary, 5 fennel seeds, 6 garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, water and some salt.

400 grs of rice (bomba or Bahía), 150 grs of cured panceta, 2 butifarras (catalan sausage) in small dices, 3 artichokes, 12 green beans, 1 onion, olive oil, 1 garlic clove and 2 table spoons of canned fried tomatoe, water and salt.

  • First of all, clean thoroughly the snails (they have been fasting for 1 week) many times under tap water. Rub their shells and make sure nothing keeps adhered to them. The snails that don’t come out their shells should be placed in hot water, if they still don’t come out, discard. Once clean, put them in a deep casserole with cold water covering them and turn on the heat the lowest possible. When they start to feel the warmness, they’ll try to scape and will come out of their shells. When the water starts boiling their body will be out and that makes it easy to eat them. Let them boil for one minute. Rinse. Put them back in a deep casserole with the herbs, garlics, and salt and boil for 45 minutes at medium/low heat. Reserve.
  • In a big sauce pan or another casserole (not a deep one), fry the panceta cut in dices with a bit of oil (4 to 5 table spoons) until golden, add the sausage cut in dices also and fry at medium heat, when golden
  • Add the artichoke and cook at low heat. Take the meat away and reserve in a plate.

  • Add the green beans, the onion and the garlic, all cleaned and chopped. Once is tender add the tomatoe sauce. Stir so that all ingredients absorb the flavours and scent.
  • Strain 4 handful of snails (keep the water in which they were cooked) and add to the meat and veggies casserole. Stir for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Prepare a 3 liters pot with half the water (strained) of the boiling snails and half mineral water. Have it boiling softly.
  • Preheat the oven at 170ºC.
  • Add the rice to the casserole and stir for 1 minute. Watch that it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom.

  • Pour some of the boiling snails water and cover the rice with it. Let the rest of the water keep on boiling so that you have if you need more. Stir and mix all ingredients and cook for 5 minutes at high heat. Taste and add salt if you consider it necessary.
  • Low the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes, if you see it gets dry add a bit more of water.
  • Place the casserole in a middle rack and have for 5 more minutes in the oven.
  • Take outside the oven and cover the casserole. Wait for another 5 minutes with the cover on the casserole and it will be ready to eat!

Notice that depending on the rice it will absorb more or less water. Follow your package instructions. A general rule is that the proportion water:rice is 2:1 But some rices are 2,5:1. That’s why is very useful to keep the water boiling aside to add a bit more if necessary :D

Want to come for lunch? :D


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06/02/2008 · 11:20 h by Peter M

Nuria, beyond the cleaning & preparation, snails are quite simple to cook and this dish is so colourful!

If we had a fresh source of snails here, I would cook with them, no doubt.

06/02/2008 · 12:01 h by Bellini Valli

This could be a version of Catalan paella, at least it contains rice, veggies and creatures in shells. Very good Nuria:D

06/02/2008 · 16:05 h by Judy @ No Fear Entertaining

What a beautiful looking dish Nuria…we only have slugs here and those are really gross!!!

06/02/2008 · 17:46 h by Swati: Sugarcraft India

Thats a nice a pretty looking rice Nuria and you’ve clicked some beautiful pictures.

06/02/2008 · 18:02 h by Núria

Hola Peter! Yeah… cleaning them is the worst!!! But so worth when you eat them :D. It’s a pitty you can’t get snails near your house. You just need a plastic bag and some rain ;-).

You are so right Val!!! The steps are very similar… only the ingredients (snails) are a bit different :D. I just love rice in all its ways :D

Awwggshhhhhh Judy… Yes that would be gross :( . Let’s keep the distance with the slugs.

Thanks so much Swati; you are so kind :D

06/02/2008 · 19:29 h by glamah16

I adore snails french style. Now I have to try Spanish Style. I just won a Spanish Cookbook and cant wait to recieve it.

06/02/2008 · 20:14 h by JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

Count me in Nuria! This dish looks beautiful!

06/02/2008 · 21:06 h by Peter G

Another Catalan snail classic! I swear one day when I have the courage to eat them I will try them this way! The arroz looks great with all the flavours Nuria.

06/02/2008 · 22:34 h by Laurie Constantino

Wonderful dish, Nuria. I love snails and am so sad I can’t go to the snail festival. :-(
I wonder if your ears were burning the night before last? They could have been because I was talking about you! We ate at a Catalan inspired restaurant in San Francisco and the food was amazingly good. I explained to my husband that I picked the restaurant because I’d been so impressed by the Catalan food on your blog I wanted to try some myself. Totally loved it!

06/02/2008 · 22:35 h by Katie

Hi – I am new to blogging. I’m also very interested in Spanish food, culture and language.

What do snails taste like, and what is it like to live in Spain? Are you orignally from there? I live in the US and dream of traveling abroad.

- Katie :)

06/03/2008 · 6:44 h by Núria

Hola Courtney! Haven’t tried the french style yet… but I will! :D Hey, can’t wait to see you cooking some spanish recipes from that book… lucky girl :D

Thanks so much Jenn :D

I can understand some people finding them gross to eat… but they are superb Peter!!!

Wow Laurie… I feel so honored!!! I’m so happy “to spread the catalan food” all world around ;-).
I totally fell in love with San Francisco when I was there the 92. Thanks again darling :D

Hola Katie, welcome to Spanish Recipes! You will find some thoughts, tradition and experiences here in my blog that will show you a bit how it is to live here… what can I say? For me is the best country in the world!!! The “big” thing about Spain is that is a pool of different cultures and languages, that’s why I feel soooooo rich, specially when talking about gastronomy. I live in the Northeast very near Barcelona. Wonderful city!!!
It’s hard to explain how snails taste… they normally take the herbs flavours you cook them with and their meat is so special… you have to try them yourself, that’s the only way :D

06/03/2008 · 21:44 h by Katie

Everyone I have talked to so far online has been so nice! Thank you replying to my comment.

So where do you purchase snails in Spain? At the grocery store? I’ve never had them, but my friend who tried them on a cruise told me that they were very chewy.

06/03/2008 · 22:56 h by We Are Never Full

Wow… this may be one of the most beautifully photographed meal you’ve made. And I will answer your question – YES! I want to come over for lunch!!!!

06/04/2008 · 4:40 h by [eatingclub] vancouver || js

Hee! Thank you for sharing this.

I am enjoying reading through your blog because you have many interesting recipes, including this one. I don’t know if I ever will cook with snails in the near or far future, but this one looks like the first dish we’ll try when we do.

I had escargot before and had a mild allergic reaction. Don’t know if it was the escargot per se or something else during that meal.

But. . .this recipe certainly looks mighty intriguing. . .

06/04/2008 · 9:22 h by Núria

Hola Katie! I buy snails in different places: There’s shops specialized in frozen food where you can find them cleaned, boiled and frozen. Also you can find them alive in the markets in Barcelona (1 kilo a package aprox) see my post about Barcelona markets. And also in the farmers markets in the villages you can also find them when they are in season (may and june are perfect months). When I go to the country and after the rain I love to go snails hunting!!!!

They can be a bit chewy when they are overcooked, otherwise they have kind of a hard meat… it’s hard to explain with my limited vocabulary… sorry… but believe me they are flavourful and tasty :D

Thanks Amy… you know you are always welcome. :D

Hey Eating Club!!!! Welcome to Spanish Recipes… so glad you enjoy it :D
It’s very important the cleaning and the fasting process before eating snails, maybe your allergic reaction came from that???? Be daring and give them a second chance :D

06/05/2008 · 19:20 h by Ivy

I love them Nuria, I told you that the other time you cooked them. I envy you as this is something we don’t find in Athens.

06/05/2008 · 19:33 h by Núria

Ivy, can’t you find snails in your markets? Oh… I gave it for granted! Well, then you know what you have to do… take an umbrella, a bag and a good pair of boots and go hunting on a rainny day ;-)

06/07/2008 · 17:10 h by katiez

A lot like mussels – you only want the live ones. I’ve never tried fixing them but my neighbor in Andorra always did!
She used to pluck them off the walls after a rain.

06/07/2008 · 17:16 h by Psychgrad

I must admit, I’m a bit afraid of snails. I’ve never tried one. But, if you’re cooking, I’d definitely give them a try! What time is lunch?

06/07/2008 · 18:49 h by Núria

Hola Katie! This was one of my favourite sports when I was a kid: hunting snails :D

The table is set at 2:00 pm and you are welcome anytime… just bring one of these lovely cakes you and Giz bake :D

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