The first cucumber pickles I make for the season are French cornichons, those tiny sour gherkins that light up a summer picnic or brighten up a winter roast. Alas, the summer vegetable garden will be very, very late this year due to a protracted rainy spring. My pickling cucumbers are barely vines yet and pickles may have to wait until August.
To make due, I’ve adapted my French cornichon recipe for pickled eggs. Eureka! Why didn’t I think of this before? Laced with tarragon, chives, mustard seed, garlic and chili peppers, these pickled eggs make the perfect complement to a cheese tray, charcuterie plate or chilled salad. I made a half gallon jar’s worth with 18 large eggs, just so they would last a while. Nope. Gone in a week. These eggs make a marvelous potato salad and an even better egg salad sandwich. Throw in a glass of rosé and you have yourself a real French pique-nique.