This creamy cucumber salad is simple yet delicious! Flavoured with fresh dill and a sour cream dressing, it will take you no more than 10 minutes to prepare.
Take a look at our salad recipe collection for inspiration if like us you live off salads in the summer months!
I often feel like whenever summer comes around, tomatoes get all the love. And while I adore big, ripe and juicy tomatoes, cucumbers get my vote for their freshness and crunch!
Cucumbers are often seen simply as a supporting vegetable for the real stars like tomatoes. And sometimes that is their role like in this Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad.
However, cucumbers can pull off a leading role as well. And I’ve got just the right example for you.
Creamy Cucumber Salad aka Mizeria
The interesting name, meaning “misery”, comes from Poland although the salad itself is enjoyed in many parts of Eastern Europe. I grew up eating it all summer long!
Why ‘misery’ you might be wondering. Well, the salad itself is so simple, containing only a handful of ingredients, it was the food of the poor. The legend has it that it was seen as a joke by the ones more financially blessed.
The joke is on them though as this creamy cucumber salad is legit!
Ingredients and Method
As you can guess, the main ingredient in this salad is cucumbers. And although cucumbers nowadays are available all year round, they are really at their best in the summer.
I also believe the cucumbers that should be used in this recipe for best results are the small ones, sometimes called Kirby, Persian or Lebanese cucumbers. They are delightfully crunchy and have very small seeds, which don’t need to be removed.
There are two ways to slice the cucumber. Shockingly enough, this will vary the taste of the salad…by a lot!
You can slice them paper thin and will end up with the most delicate and fresh tasting salad. Something you’d be served as a starter in a high end restaurant despite the simplicity of the ingredients.
Or you can slice your cukes in thick rounds, which will amplify the crunch and satisfaction by a factor of 10!
Apart from the cucumbers, I also love adding green onions or chives and a little pinch of dill. Some people add red onions instead.
Creamy Salad Dressing
Now let’s look at the salad dressing, that pulls all the flavours together. This salad is usually plainly dressed with sour cream or even kefir. Although simple, this dressing with the addition of dill is truly enough.
For my version of the dressing, I like adding one part mayonnaise to three parts of sour cream for a touch of acidity. Bringing mayonnaise into a recipe, that is centuries old, might sound like a modern notion but hear me out.
Vinegar is often added to cucumber salads for that exact reason. All I do is swap it for mayonnaise because it’s delicious and creamy!
If you can source Polish or Russian smetana (sour cream), this will make your salad infinitely tastier. You can also use creme fraiche instead of the sour cream.
The same goes for the mayonnaise. I prefer using mayonnaise from our local Russian shop. It’s so delicious and, as you can see from the pictures, it is a bit more yellow in colour.
Dress the salad right before serving, otherwise it will get a bit watery.
How long cucumber salad keeps
If there is one weakness in this salad, is that it does not keep well. It needs to be eaten the same day. Cucumbers are 80% water, so when seasoned with salt, they release it.
More Cucumber Salad Recipes:
- Summer Tomato and Cucumber Salad
- Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad
- Creamy Dill Cucumber, Radish and Egg Salad
- Summer Picnic Couscous Salad
- 8 small cucumbers or 2 long English cucumbers
- 2-3 green/spring onions sliced
- 3 sprigs fresh dill leaves only
- 3 tbsp sour cream or creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- salt to taste
- Slice the cucumber thinly or thickly depending on your preference. Use mandoline if you are going for paper thin slices. Chop the green onions and dill and add to the salad bowl with the cucumbers.
- Dress with the mix of the sour cream and mayonnaise. Salt to taste. Serve immediately.