The Pickled Cucumbers I Take Everywhere From 'Marcus Off Duty'

Helga's meatballs
Photograph: Paul Brissman

Pickled in a solution of water, white wine vinegar, sugar, a bay leaf and a couple of allspice berries, these cucumbers from Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, are super basic and spot on. The paper-thin slices of cucumbers, salted and rinsed, stay miraculously crisp, and are perfect for sandwiches, salads, or as a stand-alone side. The sweet pickle juice is used to enliven the lingonberry gravy for Helga's Meatballs (though I've also made salad dressing with it to serve with schnitzel, which killed). Samuelsson suggests using the liquid to pickle the veg of your choosing, and I plan on canning jars of these simple pickles as gifts for the holidays.

Excerpted from Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home © 2014 by Marcus Samuelsson. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Recipe Details

The Pickled Cucumbers I Take Everywhere From 'Marcus Off Duty'

Active 15 mins
Total 3 hrs 40 mins
Serves 8 to 12 servings
Makes 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 English cucumber (see notes)

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 allspice berries


  1. Slice cucumber as thinly as possible—ideally using a mandoline or Japanese V-slicer. Put cucumber in colander set over plate or in the sink, toss with salt, and let stand for about 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, and allspice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

  3. Rinse salt off the cucumber, turn it out onto a kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Put cucumber in a 1-quart Mason jar and pour in pickling solution. Push cucumber down to make sure it’s completely covered, then put the lid on the jar. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. The pickled cucumber will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.


    English cucumbers are the very long ones. They don’t have a lot of seeds and in supermarkets they usually come sealed in plastic.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
12 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 12
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 66mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 26mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)