I am staying near Portland, OR with my friends Steve and Patty this weekend. It feels wonderful to be supporting each other in building the Portland and Seattle macrobiotic communities. I hosted Warren Kramer in Seattle in April and they are hosting him this first weekend of May. This weekend he will lecture on kidneys and menu planning and give a cooking class on women’s health.
This is the third time since November that we have been together in this way. It is so nice to be able to prepare delicious meals with other members of the community. We prepared this pressed salad last night for dinner. I am hoping to snag the leftovers for lunch today.
We are in a transition between Spring and Summer in the PNW. The past few days have been unseasonably warm, so a lighter pressed salad made sense. We used nappa cabbage which is lighter than heartier head cabbage, bok choy, snow peas and cucumber. Cucumber is nice and refreshing during warmer days.
A detailed explanation for the pressed salad technique can be found here. For those of you who might be tempted to chop the vegetables in some kind of processor, just know that it tastes a lot better and is more relaxing when you cut the vegetables with a knife and put your own good energy into the slicing.
Pressed Salad with Nappa Cabbbage, Bok Choy and Snow Peas
6 leaves nappa cabbage
4-5 leaves bok choy
5 red radishes
1-1/2 cups snow peas
1/2 cucumber, peel on or off (peel for a more refined texture)
1. Slice the nappa cabbage and bok choy into very thin strips. Halve the radishes vertically and thinly slice the halves. Slice the snow peas very thin. Slice the cucumber into circles a little thicker than the rest of the vegetables, then cut the circles into quarters.
2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Add a few pinches of sea salt. Gently toss the vegetables with your hands and massage gently. Keep tossing and massaging until the vegetables feel a little limp and they become wet. Add a little more salt if the vegetables don’t start getting wet within the first few minutes of tossing.
3. Place the salad in a medium size glass bowl. Pile the salad into a small mound and place a plate on top. You want the plate to cover most of the salad without touching the sides of the bowl. Place a weight on top of the plate to press the salad down. Leave for 1-2 hours.
4. When the salad is done pressing, remove the weight. With one hand holding the bowl and the other pressing down on the plate, tip the bowl over the sink to drain the excess liquid.
5. Eat as is. You can also add a squirt of lemon, a light vinaigrette or tahini dressing at the table.
Patty Bauer is teaching macrobiotic cooking classes with our friend Sandy at People’s Coop in Portland, OR. Her next class is Sushi 101 on May 11 between 2-4 pm. For more information, you can contact her at macro4u2 at gmail.