Pressed salads are based on a classic macrobiotic technique that uses salt to help break down some of the hard-to-digest fibers of vegetables, increasing their digestibility and boosting their flavour. Massaging the vegetables helps release their water, after which they are pressed down with a plate. The juices result in a brine that essentially dresses the salad – you don’t need any other sauce besides a light squeeze of lemon, if you wish. Pressed salads are easy to make, versatile, and incredibly delicious! I used winter greens and veggies here for the Winter Rollover Menu, but feel free to change up the ingredients to suit the season.
Pressed Winter Salad
- 8 ½ oz / 240g kale
- ½ head napa cabbage
- 3 medium carrots
- 4 spring onions
- 1 apple
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 2 tsp. fine sea salt, more to taste
- Prepare the salad: Wash the kale and cabbage leaves well and spin them dry. Remove stems and tough ribs, roll the leaves into a cigar shape and slice them crosswise to make ribbons. Combine them in a large bowl.
- Using a julienne slicer (or good knife skills!), julienne the carrot, spring onion, and apple. Add the vegetables and ginger to the cabbage and kale. Sprinkle the salt over top.
- Using your hands, rub and squeeze everything together as if you are giving it a massage, until the vegetables begin to break down and release a great deal of their liquid when you squeeze a large handful. If there is not a lot of liquid, keep massaging.
- Press the salad: Place a plate directly on top of the massaged vegetables and weigh it down with a heavy object, such as a quart jar filled with water. Let the salad press for about 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to eat, drain some of the liquid off the salad, then serve with furikake, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of oil if desired. Without oil, this salad keeps very well in the fridge for a few days.