Charcuterie platters are commonly served with cornichons, which are one of the best sides to serve with charcuterie.
If you don’t have them in your kitchen, then we have just the substitutes for you! They offer a contrasting flavor and texture to balance out meats and cheeses, plus you can use them in other delicious recipes!
Cornichon substitutes: What are the best? Cornichon substitutes should have a great texture with tart and sweet flavors. Fortunately, you can find many of these characteristics in substitutes such as capers, relish, dill gherkins, pickled vegetables, celery, zucchini, and so on.
Here you will learn about the characteristics of cornichons and some of their close substitutes that you can use virtually anywhere!
What Are Cornichons?
The cornichons, which are pickled gherkins flavoured with spice and herbs, are a French classic.
It is incredibly easy to make these pickles, and their sharp and subtly sweet notes will add a refreshing dimension to any dish.
Traditionally, cornichons are served with French sausages, pate, or cold cuts, but they can also be used in sandwiches and other recipes that require a zing of flavor!
Characteristics Of Cornichons
You’ll be able to pick the best substitute for cornichons by looking at a few key characteristics!
When cornichons are brined using white vinegar and herbs, they can also have a mildly earthy, spicy, or savory flavor, depending on how they are prepared.
Typically, cornichon recipes include bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, onions, red peppers, and mustard seeds. These ingredients are added to a brine together with small cucumbers (also known as gherkins).
While the bay leaf develops and maintains a crunchy texture, the other seasonings add a deep flavor to the cucumbers.
The cornichons can be seasoned differently by mixing the seasonings and adding any type of condiment to your brine, depending on the dish you are serving with them.
In any cornichon recipe, texture is key! These pickled cucumbers have a crisp and crunchy texture that contrasts well with meat dishes.
Upon biting into cornichons, you will find that they are pleasantly firm and have a considerable bite, which will subside as you chew them.
The texture of cornichons is largely dependent on how they are prepared and brined, although the quality of the gherkins also matters.
Cornichons are commonly served as a side dish, but they can also be diced and incorporated into a wide range of dishes.
Cornichons can be used to make tangy and chunky sauces. For example, tartar sauce is usually made with relish; you can use cornichons as a substitute for it to make it even crunchier.
Sandwiches and burgers pair well with diced cornichons, while sliced cornichon strips can enhance wraps, gyros, and even shawarma.
These snacks are great even if you don’t pair them with other food, as they can certainly refresh your palate and prepare you for the upcoming meal!
Why Substitute Cornichons?
Lack of availability is the most common reason why people substitute cornichons.
Even though they are easy to make, pickled vegetables are usually consumed quickly, especially in households that frequently eat them.
You may want to substitute cornichons for their distinct texture as some recipes can require a tangy flavor without a chunky texture – this is where its substitutes come in handy!
In addition, some people may just want to substitute it for variety’s sake.
As these pickled cucumbers have been around for generations, it’s understandable to want to explore new flavors and textures by substituting different ingredients.
Best Cornichon Substitutes
So without further ado, here are the best substitutes for cornichons!
You can enjoy all the flavor of pickles without the noisy crunch with capers!
You can mince or dice this ingredient and use it in sauces, sandwiches, or as a topping for meaty dishes.
Capers alone have an earthy and grassy flavor, and you can experiment with their subtle flavors and textures by trying different varieties, such as caper berries.
The taste and texture of zucchini are similar to those of cucumbers since they come from the same family!
Sliced or chopped zucchini can add a subtle crunch and a lot of flavor, especially when brined.
While they won’t be as intense as cucumbers, they can be customized to taste just like cornichons!
The flavor and texture of relish can vary depending on how you make it, making it an excellent substitute for cornichons.
You can also buy them at virtually any supermarket for a reasonable price, which makes them a great substitute.
If you’re looking for a chunky texture and a subtle sweetness to your recipes, try sweet relish!
Generally, cornichons are made from pickled gherkins, but you can use virtually any cucumber to achieve a similar flavor and texture.
It is easy to make a delicious jar of pickles at home in a number of different ways. Cucumbers are a classic pickle that can be prepared in a number of ways.
You can serve them as a side dish on a meat platter or dice them and add them to sandwiches, wraps, or wraps.
5. White Vinegar
Add a dash of vinegar to your recipe if you want to get a pickle flavor without any texture!
Brining your favorite seasonings in white vinegar will make it even more flavorful.
The mixture can be used as a garnish for meat dishes – and it can also be used as a condiment to make a wide range of sauces.
Don’t let the bite stop you from adding zesty flavor to your dish!
Traditional chutneys can be made from fresh herbs, spices, and virtually any type of vegetable or fruit.
Add dollops of it to your plate for a visually appealing and tasty side dish that goes well with any meal.
7. Dill Gherkins
One difference between dill gherkins and cornichons is that they are usually larger and cut into round slices instead of being sliced like cornichons.
Apart from their shape, they can be used in almost any recipe that calls for pickled sides, just like cornichons.
We recommend chopping or slicing these gherkins in half before serving them for an even neater presentation.
Try brined olives as a healthy substitute!
In addition to adding flavor, texture, and nutrition, green olives are readily available and can also be prepared in a homemade brine.
For a classy look on your plate, we recommend serving brined olives with any meat dish to complement the flavor of the meat.
This vegetable has been a favorite for many people around the world for many years – and for good reason! Thanks to its narrow shape and firm texture, celery adds far more juice and crunch than other vegetables.
Pickling it just unlocks its full potential in terms of flavor and texture – it’s packed with antioxidants and other micronutrients that can boost your immune system.
Whenever you use celery in a recipe that calls for cornichons, you’ll instantly fall in love with them!
Bonus: Pickled Vegetables
You can always fall back on pickled vegetables if all else fails.
There are many stores that sell pickled vegetables, and you can even make them at home by combining chopped onions, carrots, cucumbers, chilies, and more!
You can enhance the flavor of your recipes by selecting firm, crunchy vegetables and pairing them with seasonings.
Although cornichons are a delicious and crunchy addition to many meat platters, they can also be easily substituted with better sides!
We thought you might have some related questions now that you know the best substitutes for them.
Do cornichons last longer than other pickled vegetables?
In terms of shelf life, they do not have an advantage.
Like any other homemade pickle product, cornichons must be consumed within a few days or stored in the fridge to extend their shelf life.
Can you use salted cucumber instead of cornichons?
You can use salted cucumbers to get the same crunch and flavor as cornichons.
After rinsing the cucumbers, marinate them in salt to draw out the moisture, then add vinegar to give them a similar flavor and texture.