Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)

A traditional Polish side dish, very unlike my grandma used to make! The name means “misery” in Polish…perhaps because it is traditionally doused in sour cream, making vegans (and those watching their cholesterol) have to pass. Don’t let the addition of tofu detour you; it delivers the same creamy texture and tang of the original dish.

miziera cucumber

Vegan Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)

3 large field cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 batch Sour “Cream” (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper

Sprinkle the cucumber with salt. Refrigerator for 1 hour.

Mix together the sour “cream”, vinegar, agave nectar. Mix with cucumbers. Stir in fresh dill. Season with pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

Sour “Cream”
1 12oz/340g box silken firm tofu
1 lemon
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Put the tofu in a food processor. Add juice from half the lemon, the vinegar, and the salt. Process until smooth, then keep it running while adding the oil through the feed tube. Taste for seasonings, adding lemon and salt if desired. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Polish Cherry Soup – Zupa Wisniowa

Growing up on the farm, my dad has fond memories of this soup from cherry season, featuring the fruit freshly picked off the tree. Though it’s not exactly the same as my Polish grandma’s, Dad says it’s “just as he remembers” (and he’s a terrible liar, so I’ll take that as a positive sign!). You can also serve it cold, with or without the noodles.

polish cherry soup 2

Polish Cherry Soup - Zupa Wisniowa

5 1/2 cups pitted fresh sweet, ripe cherries, divided
2 cups water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 sheets lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions (I use Tinkyada)

Put 4 cups (960mL) of the cherries and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender or transferring to a food processor, puree until mostly smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Set aside. Add the remaining cherries to the mixture, pressing with a fork to slightly mash. Cut the lasagna-noodles width-wise into 3/4-inch strips. Stir them into the soup. Serve at room temperature or cold.

polish cherry soup