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Cool, refreshing, and very comforting, our Mizeria recipe makes for a super quick salad that you can enjoy out on the patio on a hot summer afternoon.
It’s easy to see why this salad is so popular in Poland. You can whip up this dish in a matter of minutes, and not only is it light, creamy, and refreshing, but it also can be enjoyed in so many different ways.
Many people struggle with cucumbers. While they are packed with nutrients, so many of us are put off by their often bland taste. Hence, alongside bringing a welcome dose of Polish cuisine into your home kitchen, this dish is a great way to enjoy the benefits of cucumber.
What is Traditional Mizeria?
Popular in Poland, and, naturally, in other countries with strong Polish communities, traditional Mizeria is a cool and refreshing salad of sour cream (or kefir, see variations) and thinly sliced cucumber. It commonly also includes sugar, lemon juice, pepper, and herbs such as dill, chives, and others.
Sour cream: As mentioned above, you can use kefir instead of sour cream. Some people also use natural yogurt, or a mixture of both. We, in our recipe, have suggested adding an optional tablespoon of mayonnaise.
Oil: While far less common, there is a version of Mizeria that does away with sour cream altogether, instead using olive or vegetable oil, commonly with vinegar (usually white wine vinegar in modern recipes) as the dressing.
Onion: Some people like to add thinly sliced onion to the salad, giving it a little extra tang and crunch.
Herbs: We’ve used dill in our recipe, both mixed into the sour cream and as a topping for the salad. Chives, mint, and parsley are all used in Mizeria, either on their own or in various combinations.
Sugar: We have used honey instead of sugar for our recipe, but you can easily use either.
Additional ingredients: You could try adding grated apple or carrot, to add a touch of crunch and sweetness to the refreshing salad.
To make our Mizeria salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Cucumber – 1 large English cucumber
- Sour Cream – 1/2 cup
- Mayo – 1 tbsp, optional
- Honey or Sugar – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp (plus more to taste)
- Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
- Dill – 2 tbsp when minced (about 10 grams)
Step 1 – Peel the cucumber.
Step 2 – Thinly slice the cucumber.
As you can see, using a food processor with a slicing feature, as ours does, makes this step so much easier. You can, however, just cut the cucumbers using a chef’s knife or the slicing side of a box grater.
Step 3 – Add the cucumbers and 1/2 tsp salt to a sieve, mixing together, and set aside for about 10 minutes (we’re trying to let some of the cucumber juice drain).
Before using the cucumbers in the salad, press them agains the sieve, trying to squeeze some of the juice out.
Step 4 – Finely mince the dill. Set a sprinkle of dill aside to decorate the salad.
Step 5 – To the sour cream, add the black pepper, honey, mayo, lemon juice, and minced dill.
Step 6 – Give everything a good mix.
Step 7 – Add the cucumbers to the sour cream mixture.
Step 8 – After mixing everything well, taste it and add any additional salt you would like as well as sprinkle some fresh parsley for decoration.
Mizeria can, without doubt, be served as it is. However, in Poland, it is so often used as a side dish to plenty of hearty mains. While these suggestions may not be traditional, they will give you some ideas as to how best enjoy this salad.
Grilled meat: A sizeable dollop of this salad on some sizzling hot grilled meat, straight off the barbecue, can be a great way to enjoy it. This is similar to the way Greeks enjoy grilled meat with cool Tzatziki sauce.
Boiled potatoes: You could try pairing it with some buttery soft-boiled potatoes, mimicking the likes of a simple potato salad.
Dip: The salad can be used as a creamy dip for breadsticks, crackers, sliced vegetables, like carrots.
Bread: Naturally, some fresh, crusty bread and this cool, creamy salad will go hand-in-hand. You could also try it as a sandwich filling, especially with meats.
But however you decide to enjoy it, one thing is for sure: this delightful Polish favorite will feel like a cooling breeze on the palate.
The crispness of the cucumber, freshness of the dill, acidity of the lemon, sweetness of the honey, and creamy tartness of the sour cream all work in harmony to create a dish that soothes and comforts, especially under the heat of the summer sun.
Mizeria Recipe Card
- 1 large English cucumber
- 1/2 cup sour cream (full-fat, not reduced fat).
- 1 tbsp mayo, optional
- 1/2 tsp honey or sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp dill when minced (about 10 grams)
- Peel the cucumber.
- Thinly slice the cucumber. As you can see, using a food processor with a slicing feature, as ours does, makes this step so much easier. You can, however, just cut the cucumbers using a chef’s knife or the slicing side of a box grater.
- Add the cucumbers and 1/2 tsp salt to a sieve, mix together, and set aside for about 10 minutes (we’re trying to let some of the cucumber juice drain). Before using the cucumbers in the salad, press them agains the sieve, trying to squeeze some of the juice out.
- Finely mince the dill. Set a sprinkle of dill aside to decorate the salad.
- To the sour cream, add the black pepper, honey, mayo, lemon juice, and minced dill.
- Give everything a good mix.
- Add the cucumbers to the sour cream mixture.
- After mixing everything well, taste it and add any additional salt you would like as well as top with some fresh parsley for decoration.
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