I often go picking fresh winkles on the beach… This time I’ll prepare them in tomato sauce Spanish style, a great appetizer!
I know what you will say, crazy June.
Picking winkles from the rocks while standing knee high and more in the foaming surf.
On one of our walks along the pebble beaches here in Tenerife I spotted some rocks with these little creatures clinging to them. So I took off my walking shoes and socks and went into the cold water to have a better look.
It was a treasure trove of sea snails, pretty big ones.
I started collecting them, took them home with me.
And what else, I cooked them too.
Winkles prepared Spanish Style
You might think, yew!
How sure are you that these snails are edible?
Don’t worry, I know my snails. It’s not the first time that I pick these buggers to prepare them at home. I did some research once. And I never got sick after eating them so I’m pretty confident.
If you are not using the fresh sea snails right away, the best way to store them is in a bowl with water to which you add a pinch of salt. Add the snails and place the bowl in the fridge.
Land Snails vs. Sea Snails
Watch out here: don’t soak land snails or you will drown them. Keep land snails in a dry bowl in the fridge. Here’s a snail recipe I made in Malta with wild fennel!
So back to my snail recipe.
I had to scrape my other ingredients together of what was still left in my kitchen.
This unplanned bite and the fact that I was flying back home 2 days later meant that I had almost nothing left to cook with. But it all worked out just fine. Made a great garlicky tomato sauce with white wine and local smoked paprika.
Just what these delicate snails needed.
Easy Spanish Style Winkles Recipe
I often go picking fresh winkles on the beach... This time I'll prepare them in tomato sauce Spanish style, a great appetizer!
- 7 oz fresh winkles (200 g)
- 2 small fresh spring onions
- 1 large garlic clove
- ½ tsp tomato paste
- 1 glass dry white wine
- ½ tsp dried herbs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- smoked paprika powder
First of all pour the winkles in a sieve or colander and rinse them very well. Then let them drain for 5 minutes and rinse them again. Repeat this 3 more times.
Peel the garlic clove and chop it up finely. Then add it to a medium non-stick pan together with the olive oil and the bay leaf.
Place the pan over medium heat until the oil is hot and gently cook the garlic in the oil for 3 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and a pinch of smoked paprika.
Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the rinsed and drained winkles to the warm pan.
Sprinkle with the dried herbs. Turn the heat high now and pour in the white wine. Season with a pinch of salt.
Stir the winkles a little until the wine sauce starts to boil. Then put a lid on the pan and let the winkles vigorously cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. In the meantime slice the spring onions up finely. Add them to the cooked winkles in the end. Stir well and cook until the tomato sauce is glossy. Then check the seasoning and add extra smoked paprika or salt to taste if necessary.
Let the winkles cook for another minute. Then take the pan off the heat and pour the winkles and the tomato sauce in small bowls or onto deep plates. Serve immediately.