Cornichons (tiny tart pickles)

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
60 2-inch (5-cm) pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds; 1 kg) (up to 70)
¼ cup (65 g) coarse (kosher) salt
1 quart ( 1 litre) cold water, plus an additional 1.5 cups (375 ml)
3 cups (750 ml) best quality white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sugar
12 smalls White pickling onions, peeled but with ends intact
4 larges Sprigs fresh tarragon
6 Cloves garlic, peeled
8 smalls Hot red peppers (fresh or dried)
½ teaspoon Whole black peppercorns
2 Bay leaves

from "The Foodlover's Guide to Paris" by Patricia Wells: "The cornichon, a tiny tart pickle, is ubiquitous in France. Cornichons arrive at the table in squat white crocks, ready to be served with pates, rilletes, slices of salty country ham, or with pot-au-feu. The first time I made cornichons was in New York City. Picking through a bin of garden-fresh cucumbers at the farmer's market on Union Square, I was able to come up with enough tiny cucumbers to make one precious quart. Now, frankly, I'm spoiled, for each August, the fresh cucumbers appear in abundance in Paris' open- air markets, ready for "putting up" with tiny white onions and plenty of fresh tarragon. I like them spicy and hot, so I add plenty of garlic and hot peppers."

1. Trim off stem ends of the cucumbers, then rinse and drain. In a large bowl combine the salt with 1 quart (1 litre) water. Stir until the salt is dissolved, add the cucumbers, and let stand in a cool place for 6 hours.

2. Scald two 1 quart (1 litre) canning jars, lids, and rings with boiling water and drain well.

3. Drain the cucumbers, discarding the salted water.

4. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat combine the vinegar, 1½ cups (375 ml) water, and the sugar, and bring to a boil.

5. Layer the jars with the drained cucumbers, the onions, herbs and spices, making sure to divide the ingredients evenly between the jars.

6. Pour the boiling vinegar, water and sugar mixture into the jars, letting a bit of the liquid overflow the jars; this helps seal the lids well. Wipe the rim of each jar and seal. Let stand until cool. Store in a cool place for at least three weeks before serving. Refrigerate after opening.

Yield: 2 quarts (2 litres) cornichons.

Posted to FOODWINE Digest 08 Dec 96 From: WELLS Robert <robert.wells@...> Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 11:50:00 PST

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