Fast Day Recipe - Cucumber Radish Pressed Salad
Recipe for Cucumber and Radish Pressed Salad - 87 calories (Macrobiotic Recipe / Fast Day Recipe / 5-2 Recipe / Healthy Salad Recipe) / How to make a macrobiotic salad
If you are not into the 5-2 diet / way of life, the title was not your cue to shut down this window :) Nooo, I'm not letting you go that easily! I'm sure the word 'PRESSED' piqued your curiosity, right?
In Pressed salads or Macrobiotics salads, the thinly sliced vegetables are salted / seasoned, and pressed down for a while. The salt cures or partly cooks the vegetables, preserving the active live enzymes, making them more digestible. This is great for vegetables like radish and cucumber, which people feel are difficult to eat raw, especially those with a weak digestive system. The cured vegetables take on a unique texture, somewhere between raw and cooked, making them a delight to eat.
The slight fermentation that occurs when the vegetables are allowed to rest brings adds to the health quotient as well as improves the flavour. The moisture left over on the vegetables after the excess liquid is discarded, keeps the salad juicy and very little dressing is required as compared to regular salads.
Thinly sliced green leafy vegetables, carrots, celery, onions, apple, pear, cabbage can all be used in various combinations to make a pressed salad.
The word 'macrobiotics' was first used in the context of food and health by Christoph Hufeland, a German physician, in his book The Art of Prolonging Human Life (1797). This concept and way of eating became quite popular in Japan, thanks to late 19th century doctor Sagen Ishizuka, and later his student George Ohsawa, who strongly advocated the health benefits of traditional Japanese cuisine that had many macrobiotic elements to it.
The essence of a macrobiotic diet is relying on brown rice, beans, fresh organic vegetables, while meat, dairy, frozen and processed food are to be avoided. Non-fatty fish and shellfish are allowed in moderation.
So here's a sample macrobiotic salad for you. Feel free to try our your own combinations using this technique.
- In a bowl, mix the sliced radish, cucumber and chopped salad greens.
- Add salt, red chilli powder, ground black pepper and massage this well into the vegetable using your hands.
- Place this in a large bowl, and keep a heavy plate on top of this, such that the plate directly presses on the salad. Keep a heavy weight such as a mortar-pestle or a filled water bottle on top of this. Keep aside for a minimum of 30 minutes to a maximum of 2 hours. Ensure that you leave this on the countertop and not in the fridge.
- After 30 minutes, drain all excess water, toss in juice of half a lemon and remove to a serving plate.
- Heat a small pan or a tempering ladle. Once hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds along with curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle, transfer it over the salad.
If this is not for a fast day, use 1 tsp coconut oil or mustard oil for tempering the spices and curry leaves. You can also drizzle some raw extra virgin olive oil over the salad.
The pressed vegetables have a tangy flavour with a slight crunch from the curing. The seeds add little bites of crunch and impart their nutty flavours to the salad.
If you haven't tried a pressed salad before, I urge you to try it out. You'll end up making these on a fairly regular basis!
This salad makes a perfect Fast Day Salad recipe without any added oil.