My mother used to prepare these every year. But it’s harder to find the right kind of small dark green gherkin-cucumbers these days. Country markets and WI stalls are often the best bet. It’s always worth asking at a WI stall – they may have someone growing just the thing you’re after and they can bring it for you next week. That was how I discovered extra supplies of fresh figs to supplement my own last year. In France cucumbers for pickling are on sale from the end of June to September.
Wash and dry the gherkins as soon as possible. Turn into a bowl and cover with the salt. Leave for 24 hours for the salt to draw out the water.
Next day, drain them, rinse them in cold water and dry on a clean teacloth. Pack into a jar, adding the peeled onions, tarragon and peppercorns as you go. Pour in the vinegar, making sure that everything is covered. Seal tightly and store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 months before using.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.