Reviewed by Angela Paull
We have just been lucky enough to try some of the new products from Steve’s Leaves. This is a company that prides itself on its ethical practices (dedicating 10% of its land to boosting nature and biodiversity). It is also the only salad brand that is certified as Fair to Nature by Conservation Grade.
So far so impressive but how does the product actually taste? The answer is very, very good indeed.
We started off by trying the salad bowls. First up was the Perfect Ploughman’s Salad. This is a combo of leaves, cheese, mini crackers, pickles with a sachet of pickle dressing. I approached this with a little apprehension as I’m not the biggest fan of pickled products and wouldn’t normally touch gherkins or pickled onions but in this salad bowl the mini gherkins and pearl onions were so tiny that they were a perfect combination of sweet and sour. The cheese had a depth of flavour that was enhanced by the super little crackers. I was sparing with the dressing as I preferred the flavour of the leaves. There was so much content in this bowl that it would be perfect for lunch.
The Terrific Thai Salad had slightly less “substance” and although it was the ideal light lunch for me the other half added some tuna as well to bulk it out a bit. It consisted of a super mixture of leaves, coconut shavings, dried mango pieces, grated carrot with a chill and lemongrass dressing. The combination of all these flavours felt like a mini explosion in my mouth, which is not a description I’ve ever used before when eating a salad!
We were also sent their new salad bags to try. These come in 60g “pillow” bags which prevent the leaves being damaged. We found that this size was perfect for us as a family of 3, providing the ideal amount as a side salad. I prefer this as, all too often, I find that unused salad gets put back in the fridge and forgotten about until it’s a slimy mess!
There are two new variety of salad bags Red Frilly Mustard & Tender Leaves and Confetti Coriander and Mild Leaves.
I’ve not talked much about the leaves yet but, make no mistake, these really are the stars of the whole show! Firstly this is a brand that specialises in baby salad leaves, which means that there are no tough stalks but also that that the leaves have oodles of flavour. They also use leaves that are a little outside of the norm. No limp lettuce here but rather a riot of colour and taste with combinations of coriander, green batavia, pea shoots, crimson chard and frilly red mustard. As you eat these leaves they actually have a crunch to them and a layering of flavour that I certainly haven’t experienced from any bagged salad before. Steve’s Leaves are grown outside in natural sunlight and only washed in spring water and this very “green” approach certainly pays dividends in the finished product.
I will certainly be picking up some bags when I’m next in Waitrose!
For more information or to find out your nearest place to buy visit www.stevesleaves.co.uk.