Pressed salad is a dish common to macrobiotics. It is cooling, gentle, and light – a nice contradiction to a diet of dried out or heavy things (bread, crackers, meat, etc.). It is a delicious all-purpose salad that I absolutely love. It’s fun to eat with chopsticks and very, very easy to make. I learned to make pressed salad at The Natural Epicurean and I think it will become a favorite of yours, too.
There are endless combinations, but I start mine with radish, carrot, and cucumber – or whatever is on hand. I use my Benriner mandoline slicer to get thin consistent cuts. For one serving you only need about two radishes, half a carrot, and part of a cucumber. You don’t need a mandoline slicer but be sure to cut the vegetables thinly – this is a soft salad and you want to draw out some of the moisture from each thin slice.
Below: Veggies ready for salad!
Below: Nice thin cuts! Thanks Benriner!
Next, you massage about 1/4 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt into the veggies. Work the salt all around them. They’ll begin to soften pretty quickly and water will pool at the bottom of your bowl.
Below: The pressed salad is softening up nicely.
Now, the standard for pressed salad is to place a small plate on your vegetables to press out any water, but I usually just drain the water and it’s ready to eat! I love to use a cast iron skillet to toast sesame seeds and toss them on my salad. Toasty, fresh, a bit salty – terrific! You really don’t need a regular dressing here, trust me. No oil required. It would actually take away the essence of the salad.