Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)

published Aug 29, 2021
Mizeria Recipe (Polish Cucumber Salad)

This twist on mizeria swaps in creamy, tangy labneh for the sour cream, resulting in a flavorful, refreshing side dish.


Prep15 minutes

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Mizeria salad in bowl.
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig / Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

When I was growing up, my mom often made a dish called mizeria. It was always a freestyle recipe — the type of thing I would watch her mix up on a hot summer day while the AC rattled around in the other room. It’s a simple mix of sour cream, cucumber, dill, and vinegar, which combine to make a flavorful, refreshing snack in relatively no time at all. It’s a restorative meal during the dog days of summer (my mom always had it alongside a glass of iced tea!).

Lots of cultures have some version of cucumbers and yogurt. Persians have mast-o khiar. Greece and Turkey have tzatziki. And the Polish have mizeria. Here, I’m sharing my twist on mizeria, which involves swapping out the sour cream for creamy, tangy labneh, which is just yogurt strained to remove the whey. Lemon juice and vinegar thin it out to create a viscous and flavorful dressing that coats the cucumbers, and both dry and fresh dill create a well-rounded herb flavor. Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and you have yourself a satisfying dish that acts as either a side or light lunch.

Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig / Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

2 Tips for Making Mizeria

  1. Salt the cucumbers. Salting the cucumbers both flavors them and removes excess water — you want mizeria to be creamy, not watery! After slicing the cucumbers, you’ll place them in a colander and sprinkle with salt, then toss to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes to drain. Be sure to pat them down afterwards with a few paper towels to remove the water.
  2. Serve it cold. Mizeria is a dish best served cold. When possible, I like to refrigerate the finished dish for at least 30 minutes (and up to one day) before serving.

Mizeria Recipe (Polish Cucumber Salad)

This twist on mizeria swaps in creamy, tangy labneh for the sour cream, resulting in a flavorful, refreshing side dish.

Prep time 15 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    medium cucumbers (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • Small handful fresh dill sprigs

  • 1/2 cup


  • 1 tablespoon

    distilled white vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried dill

  • 2 tablespoons

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel 2 medium cucumbers. Cut crosswise on a slight diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place in a colander or large fine-mesh strainer and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss to combine, then let sit for 30 minutes to drain.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the following, and place each in a large bowl as you complete it: Juice 1/2 medium lemon until you have 2 tablespoons juice; coarsely chop fresh dill fronds until you have 1 tablespoon, then chop more for garnish if desired; add 1/2 cup labneh, 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon dried dill to the bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until the cucumbers are ready.

  3. Place the cucumber slices on paper towels and pat dry with more paper towels. Add to the labneh mixture and stir to coat the cucumbers. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with the reserved dill if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The mizeria can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.