Polish Cucumbers in Sour Cream Mizeria Recipe

Cucumber salad with a sour cream dressing
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  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 cucumbers (4 portions)
Ratings (49)

The Polish name for cucumbers in sour cream is mizeria literally meaning "misery." Read how mizeria got its name, below.

This easy and delightful, cooling salad is anything but miserable. It's a great accompaniment to pork, ham, chicken, fish and just about anything.

Choose thin cucumbers with small seeds or the seedless variety. Dress this just before serving so the dish doesn't become watery. Traditionally, vinegar is used in the dressing but it may thin it out too much. It's included as an optional ingredient so the choice is yours.

What You'll Need

  • For the Cucumbers:
  • 1 large cucumber (with or without seeds, washed, trimmed and peeled)
  • Salt
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup
  • sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon 
  • fresh dill (chopped)

How to Make It

  1. Run a channel knife or fork down the length of the cucumbers to produce a pretty edge, and slice thinly.
  2. Place in a colander over a bowl to catch the juices and salt the cucumbers liberally. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  3. While the cucumbers are marinating, make the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together sour cream, sugar, optional vinegar, and dill until well blended.
  4. Refrigerate covered until ready to assemble the salad.
  1. Pat cucumbers dry and place in a medium bowl. Add the dressing and toss with the cucumber slices. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  2. Chill until very cold and sprinkle with additional dill, if desired, before serving.

Note: Another popular summertime recipe using cucumbers is Polish cucumber-beet soup. It has a brilliant magenta color and the buttermilk, sour cream and hard-cooked eggs it's made with slakes the thirst. It is often poured into a glass and consumed as a beverage.

How Mizeria Got Its Name

The name of this dish is attributed to Queen Bona Sforza, an Italian princess who married Polish King Sigismund I in the 16th century. 

Homesick for her native Italy where cucumbers were common, every time she ate it, it made her cry. Hence the Polish word for "misery," derived from the Latin. 

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 75
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 17 mg
Sodium 87 mg
Carbohydrates 6 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 1 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)