Scandinavian Cucumber Salad with Dill
Plant-Based,  Salad

My Husband’s Classic Scandinavian Cucumber Salad with Dill (aka Scandi Quick Pickles)

The quintessential side for all sorts of meals from Swedish meatballs to a simple poached salmon or cod, this Scandinavian cucumber salad with dill is a bit of a salad and a bit of a relish. Think of it as a sort of quick pickle.

The perfect recipe eluded me for years as I tried various proportions and techniques in an attempt to get it just right. For something so simple—or rather because it’s so simple—it requires precision and finesse.

Consumed by the final stages of preparing a meatball dinner one evening, I asked my husband if he’d be willing to whip up one of these quick pickles. I gave him a rough guide—thinly slice the cucumber and mix it with some vinegar, salt, sugar, and dill. He figured it out on the first go, creating the balance of flavors and the amount of liquid that had been a challenge for me to master.

I promptly asked him to share what he did. This is his recipe.

Scandinavian Cucumber Salad with Dill

Here are some recipes that this salad would taste delicious alongside:

If you–like me–try to eat a mostly pescatarian or plant-based diet and have a copy of my book The Pescatarian Cookbook for Beginners, these recipes would also go well with this salad:

  • Broiled Mussels with Dill Butter (page 62)
  • Creamy Scandinavian Fish Soup (page 90)
  • White Wine-Poached Cod with Creamy Dill Sauce (page 125, also reprinted here on the blog)
  • Scandi-Style Fish Cakes with Rémoulade (page 127)
  • A Seattle Grilled Salmon Dinner (page 133)

And now for the recipe for Scandinavian Cucumber and Dill Salad:

Classic Scandinavian Cucumber and Dill Salad

This recipe is courtesy of my husband, Elliot, who’s an excellent cook.
Gurkosalat med Dill
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Scandinavian


  • 1 English cucumber
  • 4 ounces distilled white vinegar, plus 1 ounce divided
  • 2 ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Small handful of dill coarsely chopped


  • Wash and scrub the cucumber well, then slice thinly, ideally using a mandolin. Put the cucumber slices in a medium bowl and add 3 ounces vinegar, and the water, salt, and sugar, stirring as you go. Let it sit for 4-5 minutes, then drain off 2 ounces of the liquid—cucumbers release a lot of moisture. Add one additional ounce of vinegar, to taste, and stir again. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Sprinkle the dill over the salad and pack it down so all the dill is covered by liquid and let it sit until you’re ready to serve.
  • Stir, then serve.
Keyword cucumbers, dill
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