QUICK PICKLED CUCUMBERS (for four to six)
“After lingonberry preserves, these pickled cucumbers are the most popular condiment in Scandinavia. They are a traditional accompaniment to Swedish meatballs, simple salmon dishes, roasts and other meats. They are even served with frankfurters sold at street kiosks, much like the sauerkraut that often tops the hot dogs sold here.” Marcus Samuelson, Akavit Restaurant, New York City
1 English (hothouse) cucumber
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1-½ cups water
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
2 allspice berries
1. Slice the cucumber as thin as possible (use a mandoline or other vegetable slicer if you have one). Put the slices in a colander, toss them with the salt, and let stand for about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf and allspice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Rinse the salt off the cucumbers and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Put the cucumbers in a medium bowl and add the pickling solution; they should be completely covered by the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours before serving. The pickled cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
from Marcus Samuelson, Akavit Restaurant, New York City