Heat butter in a large deep-sided frying pan over low heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add nettles and sorrel and sauté until wilted. Transfer to a colander to drain, cool slightly, then gently squeeze excess liquid from greens. Chop the greens to break them up a little, transfer to a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
Preheat oven to 200C. Lay one sheet of filo on a work surface. Brush with melted butter, then place another sheet on top and repeat with another three sheets of filo. Cut into twenty-eight 6½cm squares. Place a heaped tablespoon of nettle mixture on each square, top each one with a snail, then cut 28 squares from remaining filo sheet and place over each pastry. Press to seal, brush tops with melted butter, gather edges of filo upwards to form a pie, place pies on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden and cooked through (15 minutes). Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.
This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
“There are many recipes for snails,” explains Kyritsis, “and the most common ones I know involve cooking them in a tomato sauce with rosemary; or with garlic, parsley and cinnamon and serving them with pasta. Greeks have been eating snails for thousands of years. A particular kind of snail which feeds on the leaves of olive trees exists in Crete. After they are cleaned and boiled briefly, they are put in a saucepan with some wine, herbs and oil, cooked and then served hot as a snack with ouzo. Snails are available in Australia from specialty suppliers and some delicatessens but you can also buy good-quality canned snails from stores such as David Jones Food Halls. If snails aren’t to your taste, stuffing the pies with a small cube of feta is a very nice alternative.”