Polish Cucumber Salad {Mizeria}

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“Mizeria” is probably one of the most known Polish salads, here in the US. It is a simple salad of cucumbers and sour cream, with a garnish of dill, which to me is a taste of the summer. It is crunchy and refreshing, with a hint of sour lemon. It’s normally served next to a pile of hot and steaming boiled potatoes, straight out of hot bath, and just cut in half. Sometimes, in the summer, we would just eat that for dinner, and were very satisfied with the flavor. Sometimes we’d also ask for a fried egg topped with chives. Pretty common combination, if you talk to any Polish natives.

These days in Poland, you can buy English cucumbers year-round, but when I was young(er), the only cucumbers that were available were the pickling kind. You could buy them at the market, but my stick-to-traditions grandma grew them in her garden. We’d use them pickling, and salads. But once the cucumber season past, we wouldn’t see fresh cucumbers until the next summer. So when we had a chance, we’d eat them every day, all day long. Just peeled and salted, in salads, on sandwiches, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Polish cucumber salad, mizeria. Cold summer salad.

Today, I mainly make cucumber salad in the summer time. I think that’s how I’ve been programmed, I crave it more when it’s warm out. So does my family. And when I do make it, I get smiles all around. Another dinner success.

Polish Cucumber Salad {Mizeria}

  • Yields: 3 servings
  • Prep Time: 12 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber (or 6-8 small pickling cucumbers)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbs of fresh dill
  • Squeeze of a lemon
  • Pinch of pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash and peel the cucumber. Slice thin. Add salt and let sit for 10 minutes. After 10 min drain any water that may have accumulated.

  2. Add sour cream and dill, squeeze of lemon and a pinch of pepper. Mix and chill until ready to serve.

Do you know this salad? What’s your favorite summer salad? Leave me a comment below.

Hope you try this one.. smacznego!

Anna

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10 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for your blog. I just found it. I am “thoroughbred” Polish and wa raised on Polish food. Please put me on your face book list when you post recipes.
    thank you, Ann Krantz

  2. This was a summer staple for us also with our home-grown cukes. We used fork tines to score the outside of the peeled cucumber to give them a fluted edge, sliced them thinly, and soaked them in salted ice water to crisp them up. Drained, sprinkled with sugar and vinegar then the sour cream. I loved them with mashed potatoes, sliced tomatoes, and corn on cob. Got to eat those garden treasures.

  3. Fantastic recipe. It reminds me of my dear Grandmother when she used to make this with fried Yellow Perch my Grandfather and I caught in Lake Erie and Pierogies we made for the holidays!

  4. I made this to serve as a side with some chicken tikka masala at a picnic (incorporating a few ideas from the comment section as well). It was just what I expected it to be and it paired well with the Indian food–and I think I got some brownie points with my Polish “friend.”

    Although after I made him a full, 12 dish Polish Christmas dinner last year (by myself!), you’d think I’d be getting more than just brownie points! And here I am again, planning this Christmas’ menu. (I used mostly your recipes last year and they all turned out very good, even though I had never cooked any of them before and didn’t even know what Polish food tasted like.) The problem with getting to that man’s heart through his stomach is that his stomach is nearly bottomless.

  5. I just made this the other day from my family recipe, probably tweaked over the years. Everything was the same except I was taught to use celery salt instead of regular salt.

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