Le Recamier’s fricassee of snails, one of its best dishes, gets even better in wild mushroom season: When they’re available, substitute chanterelles, cepes, or hedgehogs for the mushrooms suggested below.

Yield: serves 6-8


For the Fricassée

  • 3 (4.5-oz.) cans snails, drained
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, quartered
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig fresh thyme, 1 sprig fresh parsley, 1 bay leaf, 5 black peppercorns, 5 coriander seeds, 3 cloves, and 1 whole peeled garlic clove, wrapped and tied in cheesecloth)
  • 2 12 lb. assorted mushrooms, such as button, shiitake, or portobello
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 14 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the Herb Butter

  • 5 stemmed fresh spinach leaves
  • 13 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 12 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh chervil
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper


  1. Simmer snails, onions, carrots, celery, wine, bouquet garni, and 4 cups water in a large saucepan over medium heat until snails are tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Set aside.
  2. For herb butter, puree washed spinach, basil and butter in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in parsley, tarragon, chervil, and chives. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate.
  3. Trim and slice mushrooms. Heat a small amount of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook about 1⁄4 of the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until just brown, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain in a colander, set aside, and repeat, cooking mushrooms in batches, adding oil as needed.
  4. Strain snails in a colander and discard vegetables and bouquet garni. Melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat, add garlic and shallots, cook for 1 minute, then stir in lemon juice and snails, and cook 1–2 minutes. Add cooked mushrooms and parsley and cook just until heated through. Adjust seasoning. Serve topped with melted herb butter.