Everyone loves a good salad, and this Sour Cream Cucumber Salad will not disappoint! Mum always made this salad using fresh cucumbers picked from the garden.
This recipe is of Polish origin called Mizeria, which literally translates to misery. It's a delicious but basic poor man's salad with using only sour cream and cucumbers. Some variations add dill and onions, which is my favorite way to eat this. This Sour Cream Cucumber Salad is similar to Russian Radish and Cucumber Salad. If you love radishes, check it out.
What type of Cucumbers are used in Mizera?
I use Long English Cucumbers for this recipe because they are readily available in supermarkets. Here in Australia, we have Lebanese Cucumbers which also work well. However, if you can find them, use a common Eastern European Pickle Cucumber. It's more of the traditional cucumber that's been used in this recipe. I sometimes find them at farmer's markets. You might need to peel the skin from those cucumbers if they are bitter. That's why Long English are easier. It couldn't be easier to make, especially with fresh cucumbers from your garden.
I make homemade sour cream in the summertime, which tastes great in Mizeria. You could use Greek Yogurt for a lower fat substitute, or even use Kefir as well. Some recipes tell you to salt the cucumbers to allow to juices to release, then squeeze it out. I find that this adds unnecessary time to an easy recipe. Just chop and mix it all together and serve right away. We never have leftovers from this cucumber salad, so I don't worry about cucumber juices releasing. If you don't have vinegar, you could also use a squeeze from fresh lemons, but not too much. The recipe needs an acid, but doesn't need to taste lemony.
How to make Mizeria
Well this is the easy part. Just cut it all up, mix and serve. Some people like to use a mandolin slicer when cutting the cucumbers. I find that it's so easy to cut cucumbers, that the slicer is just another thing to wash up afterwards. You can prepare it an advance, but just don't salt or dress the cucumbers. If you salt in advance, it will release the liquids. If you dress it with sour cream, it will become soggy. It's best made and served right away. Which is easy, so it won't be a problem!
The shared history of Slavic Eastern European nations also extends to the foods we all enjoy across our cultures (pre and post Soviet). A tasty side dish or summer salad at your dinner table. I love Eastern European cooking. This Creamy Cucumber Salad or Mizeria, is a staple on my summer table (or when cucumbers are on sale!). Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Mizeria - Creamy Cucumber Salad
- 2 Long English Cucumbers sliced
- ½ cup sour cream or substitute Greek Yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- ½ small white onion thinly sliced
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix together and enjoy!