Everyone loves a good salad, and this Creamy Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream will not disappoint! Mom always made this salad using fresh cucumbers picked from the garden. It's one of my favorite summer salads we make every year.
What is Mizeria?
This recipe is of Polish origin called Mizeria, which literally translates to misery. It sounds terrible, let's eat Misery Salad, don't let the name mislead you! Mizeria a delicious, but basic poor man's salad, using sour cream and cucumbers as the base. 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 using fresh cucumbers from your garden.
How to make Mizeria
Well this is the easy part. Just thinly slice it all up, mix and serve. Some people like to use a mandolin slicer when cutting the cucumbers, but I think the slicer is just another thing to wash up afterwards. I cut the cucumbers in half lengthways, then thinly slice them.
I use a sweeter white onion, or even a red onion, as I prefer the milder taste in a salad. However, as the salad is called misery, you can use the sharpest onion you like! Plus the sour cream will help mellow out the bite in the salad.
The final ingredient that can't be missed is fresh dill. A vital ingredient in Eastern European foods. If fresh dill isn't in season, they sell it in herb tubes in supermarkets. I mix in at least a teaspoon of the tube dill with the sour cream to ensure it's evenly mixed. All that's left is to add a bit of vinegar, salt and pepper and your salad is done!
Can You Make Mizeria in Advance?
This is a Yes and No answer! You can prepare the ingredients in advance, but just don't salt or dress the cucumbers with sour cream. 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. Some people add salt the cucumbers to allow to juices to release, then squeeze it out. I find that this adds unnecessary time to an easy recipe. Plus, I think nobody likes a soggy salad, crispy creamy cucumbers are the tastiest!
Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream Recipe Tips
- Try making homemade Sour Cream, much tastier than store bought!
- For a lower fat salad, substitute sour cream with Greek Yogurt
- To substitute vinegar, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon in the salad, but not too much. The recipe needs an acid, but doesn't need to taste lemony.
- No sour cream or yogurt? try using a bit of Kefir instead
Other Slavic Salads You Need To Try!
- Creamy Radish Salad
- Vinegret Beet Salad
- Olivier Potato Salad
- Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- Shuba Salad with Salmon
- Korean Carrot Salad (not actually Korean!)
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!
- 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!