Bags of salad are quick, easy to find on the supermarket shelf and for me, less wasteful than heads of salad. I know that if I buy a bag of ready-prepared salad it will be gone in two sittings and whilst more expensive than a single head, I don’t end up throwing it away and I get some variety. Purveyors of some bagged salad brands mean that seasonality is out-of-the-window and long gone are the days when we switched to root vegetables and cabbages in the winter. Whether you love it or loathe the idea, advances in packaging technology and global availability mean that we can eat salad all year-long.
I like Steve’s Leaves because they taste fabulous but they don’t grow their leaves under artificial light either in the UK or abroad. Unlike others, they don’t use chlorine to wash and prepare their range, it’s spring water all the way for them and if that’s not enough, they create special habitats on their farms to encourage friendly forms of wildlife.
Their new ‘Persian Cress & Luscious Herby Leaves’ is a winner. The bag is the right size for three good adult portions (if you’re adding other salad items) and the peppery cress is joined with baby green Batavia, Baby red Cos, wild Rocket and a good sprinkling of Chives. As well as tasting great, the leaves are beautiful and the colours look great in any bowl.
For those who haven’t heard of Persian Cress – it’s being hailed as the new salad rocket but it looks like a frilly flat-leaf parsley, tastes sweet, aromatic and has a mildly peppery flavour.
Daniel Clifford, the two-Michelin-starred-chef from Cambridge’s Midsummer House has created a perfect warm Persian Cress Salad of Jersey Royal Potatoes, Asparagus, Ham Hock & Soft Boiled Quails Egg. Here’s a picture of his beautiful restaurant. If you get to visit the food is incredible.
There are more super recipes for your delectation and creation at Steve’s Leaves recipe website.
By the time I found Quail’s eggs we’d eaten the Persian Cress salad so I tried it with the Fennel Tops and Sweet Leaves bag which worked just as well. For all the bags Steve’s Leaves make take a look at their site. Here are a few pictures.
Ingredients to serve 2
For the dressing
2 tbsp orange juice
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp rape seed oil or olive oil
200g of pre-cooked ham hock (Waitrose sell 2 x 90g pulled ham hock)
200g Jersey Royal potatoes (washed)
100g trimmed asparagus spears
8 quail eggs
½ x 25g pack of chives, chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
60g bag Steve’s Leaves Persian Cress & Luscious Herby Leaves
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together with a fork and season with salt.
Shred the ham hock and place to one side then put the Jersey Royals into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then gently simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool in the water, drain and cut in to quarters.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the asparagus for 2 minutes, remove and place in ice water for 1 minute, then place on a towel to dry.
Cook the quail eggs for 2 minutes in boiling water, remove and place straight into ice water for 1 minute then peel the eggs ensuring all shell is removed and cut in half.
Mix the chives and spring onions with the ham hock and Persian Cress & Luscious Herby Leaves salad, toss in the dressing and place in 2 bowls. Place the potatoes, asparagus and quail eggs around the salad and serve.