Mizeria: The Refreshing Polish Cucumber Salad

Zach Waxer
by Zach Waxer
5 min

Legend has it that Mizeria earned its name from the Polish word "mizerny," meaning "miserable" or "poor." But fear not, for this moniker does not reflect the dish's taste, but rather its humble and simple nature. Originating in the bountiful Polish countryside, Mizeria emerged as a celebration of the humble cucumber, transforming it into a symphony of flavors. Originally prepared as a side dish for nobles and peasants alike, this salad soon became a symbol of resourcefulness and creativity in Polish culinary culture.

As time passed, Mizeria's appeal expanded beyond its traditional roots. Today, this Polish salad has found its way onto tables around the world, captivating the palates of both cucumber enthusiasts and culinary adventurers. Its simplicity and versatility make it a delightful accompaniment to a variety of dishes. Whether served alongside hearty pierogies or as a refreshing side dish to a summer barbecue, Mizeria brings a touch of Polish charm and culinary elegance to any occasion.

Mizeria's appeal lies in its ability to transport us to a place of simple pleasures and shared moments of joy. It's a dish that reminds us to slow down, savor the flavors, and embrace the beauty of simplicity.

This Polish cucumber salad is far from ordinary. Its origins may be rooted in modesty, but its flavors dance with elegance and playfulness. Mizeria captures the essence of cucumbers, transforming them into a captivating dish that has stood the test of time. So, next time you crave a refreshing symphony of flavors, turn to Mizeria, and let the cucumbers work their magic on your taste buds.

I'm thrilled to share this recipe with you, and I hope it brings as much joy to your mornings as it does to mine. Thank you for your interest in this recipe and for being a part of the Foodtalk community.

--Zach Waxer, Foodtalk editor

Mizeria: The Refreshing Polish Cucumber Salad
Recipe details
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time:   Total time: 5 min
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  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Start by preparing the cucumbers. Peel them and slice them into thin rounds. If desired, you can also partially peel the cucumbers, leaving some strips of skin for added texture and color.
Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Then, gently squeeze the cucumbers to remove any remaining liquid.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, fresh dill, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Add the drained cucumber slices to the yogurt mixture and gently toss until the cucumbers are evenly coated.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the salad to chill.
Before serving, give the Mizeria a final stir to redistribute the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve the Mizeria chilled as a refreshing side dish or accompaniment to a variety of meals. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, sandwiches, or as a light and cooling salad on its own.
Wishing you a delightful meal filled with gratitude and enjoyment!
  • M M on Jun 09, 2023

    Looks yum! Variations of this recipe are found in many cultures. What is INF?

  • Luanne Lee Turner Luanne Lee Turner on Jun 14, 2023

    Love the recipe, not crazy about vinegar 🤷‍♀️

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    • Theodora Theodora 6 days ago

      In Greece we call it "tzatziki" and instead of vinegar we add garlic but it can also be ommited if you don' t like it! However, it is necessary to add olive oil.