Nick seems wary of periwinkles, partly because of the way they look with their bright green ends, which comes from their diet. You can pinch that bit off, and just eat the foot which is the muscle that holds the shell closed, but I think you miss the joy of the whole experience.
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 kg periwinkles, purged
- 50 ml olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the white wine in a billy or pot over a high flame until it comes to the boil. Add the bay leaves and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the periwinkles, cover and steam, shaking the billy occasionally, until the foot starts to loosen at the entrance of the shells. Pour the periwinkles and cooking liquid into a colander placed over a bowl. Return the billy to the heat, then add the olive oil and garlic. Cook until fragrant but not browned, then return the periwinkles to the billy and toss to coat in the garlicky oil. Add a little of the cooking liquid and toss to combine well.
Serve the periwinkles hot, with a simple fork or toothpick so you can get at the meat. Discard the small shell from the end of the foot, spear the winkle and pull it away from the shell. Scoff them greedily, with a beer, while watching Ross have a go at surfing after a 5 year hiatus. And try not to laugh!
• Periwinkles, like many shellfish, are best cooked live.
This recipe is from Gourmet Farmer Afloat.