Whelks with Parsley and Garlic Butter


  • 1 ounce garlic about 7 cloves, germ (the green sprout) removed
  • 1 ½ ounces flat-leaf parsley about 1/2 bunch, heavy stems removed
  • 8 ounces 2 sticks soft unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 pound whelks about 12, the smaller the better, scrubbed


  • In a running food processor, drop garlic through feed tube to mince. Place parsley in container of machine and pulse to mince. Add butter and seasonings, and process until well blended. No bits of butter should show. Set aside.
  • Bring several quarts of water, heavily salted (like seawater), to a boil. Add whelks and boil 4 minutes. Drain.
  • Place butter mixture in a metal bowl fitted into a small saucepan of simmering water, or in a double boiler. Whisk until mixture melts, then transfer to a serving dish or small individual bowls. Serve 2 to 3 whelks a person, with melted-butter mixture for dipping.
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