Black Garlic & Smoked Tomato Escargot

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Escargot with Black Garlic and Smoked Tomato Butter

Want something a little different than classic escargot with butter, garlic & parsley?  Try this more complex recipe featuring sweet, umami-packed black garlic, lemon & sherry vinegar, and an amazing compound butter made with cold-smoked tomatoes.

Wine Pairing: Blanc de Blanc Champagne

Ingredients:                                                      Makes 4 Appetizer Servings
1 tbsp minced Black Garlic
½ tsp Lemon Juice
½ tsp Sherry Vinegar (we used Gran Reserva)
½ tsp Salt
8oz Par-Cooked Escargots (snails)
Buttered & Toasted Slices of Challah or Brioche
Fresh Thyme Leaves

Smoked Tomato Butter
3 Roma Tomatoes
1 cup Alder or Mesquite Wood Chips, soaked in water
1lb Unsalted Butter, softened
2 tsp Smoked Salt


  1. Cut a small X into each tomato’s skin on one end (this will make them easier to peel later).
  2. Put the tomatoes in a steamer rack or other similar device to elevate them.
  3. Put a layer of foil in a small (metal) baking pan (steam table pans from a restaurant supply store work well). Put the wood chips on the foil and the basket of tomatoes on top.
  4. Put the pan on the stove over medium heat. Use a culinary torch to light the wood chips & immediately cover the top of the pan tightly with foil.
  5. Smoke the tomatoes for 20 minutes – peek under the foil periodically & re-light the wood chips if necessary.
  6. Remove the tomatoes from the pan. Let them cool, then peel off the skin & core/de-seed them.
  7. Blend the tomatoes in a food processor with the butter and smoked salt to taste (we used 2 tsp) until a smooth paste forms.
  8. Use a spatula to scoop the butter out of the machine & put it in the center of a sheet of plastic wrap, wax paper or parchment paper. Roll the paper/wrap into a tube shape, pressing the butter out to the sides so it forms a cylinder.  Crimp or twist the sides of the wrapper to close them, and move the butter to your fridge or freezer to harden enough to slice.
  9. Just before serving, melt 2 tablespoons of the tomato butter in a wide skillet, then add the black garlic.
  10. Toss the butter with the garlic as it melts (it will darken considerably from the garlic).
  11. Add the escargot & toss it in the butter mixture, continuing to cook just until the snails are heated through.
  12. Stir in the lemon juice, sherry vinegar & salt.
  13. Serve the snails immediately with the toast, topped with a thin pat of additional tomato butter & sprinkled with thyme leaves.

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