Mizeria - Yola Ksiazczyk - 9.28.19

The following recipe is for mizeria, a Polish cucumber salad. This cold, herbacious dish is often presented alongside other chilled salads, pickled vegetables, and grilled meats. As such, mizeria makes a frequent appearance on both the ornamental bowls of Sunday supper, as well as the plastic plates of late-night barbecues. Versatility and simplicity lend mizeria its staple status in Poland.


Fairytale Eggplant with Bitter Greens, Cherry Tomatoes and Savory Yogurt

Eggplant is often polarizing.  It can be bitter, rubbery or bland, but when cooked properly it is heavenly.  I love using the little fairytale eggplants because they are very manageable and easy to cook.  I use a method of scoring and salting the eggplant to enhance the flavor and texture while reducing some of the moisture and bitterness.  The result is sweet and tender flesh that plays nicely with the bitter greens, juicy tomatoes and creamy yogurt.


1 pound fairytale eggplant, halved lengthwise and scored
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning greens and cherry tomatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bunch dandelion greens or other bitter greens
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
freshly milled black pepper
basil leaves for garnish

  1. Season the scored eggplant evenly with the measured kosher salt and allow to sit.  Meanwhile wash and halve the cherry tomatoes and trim and wash the dandelion greens.  Prepare the yogurt mixture (recipe below) by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. In a wide skillet over medium heat, warm 6 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Place the eggplant halves cut side down in a single layer.  Cook until lightly browned about 7 minutes.  Turn eggplant over and cook on skin side until the flesh is tender all the way through, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from pan and set aside.  
  3. In the same skillet, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and wilt the dandelion greens.  Season with salt and pepper and add the sliced garlic.  Continue to cook for 2 minutes until the greens are tender and the garlic is no longer raw.  
  4. Spread the yogurt mixture on a large platter with the back of a spoon.  Layer the greens on top of the yogurt, then the cooked eggplant.  Garnish with cherry tomatoes, black pepper and basil leaves.

Lemon-garlic yogurt

1 cup greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, grated on microplane
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated on microplane
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt



Basil Turkey Meatballs + Watermelon Salad

Basil Meatballs

4 servings

1 lbground poultry/beef/pork/lamb*
1 package Basil Better than Breadcrumbs (garlic clove foods)
½  onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

*Today we are using turkey.

  1. Rehydrate Basil Better than Breadcrumbs by adding ⅔ cup of water directly to package.  Let sit 5 minutes. 

  2. In large mixing bowl add ground turkey. 

  3. Dice onion and add to turkey. 

  4. Add better than breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly.    

  5. Divide the turkey mixture into 4 roughly equal parts, then split each of those into 3 for 12 meatballs.

  6. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan and allow to warm through.

  7. Add meatballs to hot sauté pan. Do not overcrowd the pan, cook in 2 batches if needed.  

  8. Turn the meatballs over as the outside begins to brown. Cook until the meatballs are brown on the edges and cooked all the way through (no pink in the center and the juices run clear).


Watermelon Salad

3 cups diced watermelon
3 Tbsp white basalmic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey

  1. In a small mixing bowl mix vinegar and honey together.

  2. Place diced watermelon in a large mixing bowl. Add vinegar and honey mixture and toss together to coat.