By Vida Gustafson

Contributing Writer

Tangy, refreshing and light, this preparation for cucumber salad is dated back as far as the 16th century. Commonly known as mizeria in the Polish community and gurkensalat in Germany, it’s a staple in many households in the summertime because it is such a great accompaniment to grilled meats or fish. I call it a preparation more than a recipe, because, while there are basics to follow, everyone (and their grandmothers) makes it a little differently. Here’s my version!


  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice/vinegar
  • white pepper to taste
  • 5-7 oz chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


Slice your cucumber into very thin slices, using a mandolin, if you have one. Place sliced cucumber into a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the dressing. Mix 2 tablespoons sour cream with lemon juice, 1/2 tsp white pepper, sugar and dill. Squeeze out the liquid from the cucumber by hand and place into a clean bowl. The slices should have a translucent look to them now. Dress the cucumber slices adding the last tablespoon of sour cream if necessary, and taste for seasoning. Make one day or at least 1 hour ahead.