Steve’s Leaves – dinner at the Soho Hotel

Posted on Friday, 2nd April 2010

On Monday night I was invited to attend a dinner for the launch of Steve’s Leaves at the Soho Hotel. By way of introduction, Steve was the man who introduced the public to the idea of eating young spinach raw in the 1980s. At the time, people thought he was mad, but now it’s a concept that everyone is familiar with. Since then, he has continued experimenting with different baby leaf ideas.

When you talk to Steve, you know he’s completely passionate about leaves. Not only is he a farmer, he is also a leaf doctor. You see, Steve has an impressive PhD in watercress (yes, a PhD in watercress) and today his range includes four different leaf products (baby watercress, super hot rocket, wild red rocket, and a mixture of pea shoots, baby spinach and baby chard). The leaves are farmed using sustainable and environmentally friendly techniques which improves biodiversity. Steve’s Leaves is the only farm to hold the Conservation Grade/Nature Friendly Farming status.

We were able to sample the complete Steve’s Leaves range as part of a delicious 6 course meal.

The first dish was shoots and leaves tossed with toasted almonds, sesame seeds, avocado and a chipotle dressing. The dressing was a recipe of the lovely Thomasina Miers, a former Masterchef winner. She was also present at the dinner.

Shoots and leaves with a chipotle dressing

Next was super hot rocket with buffalo mozzarella, Parma ham and a balsamic dressing. The super hot rocket was my favourite out of all the leaves. When eaten on its own, it gave off lots of heat!

Super hot rocket with buffalo mozzarella & Parma ham

Baby watercress was served with Dorset crab and a celeriac remoulade.

Baby watercress with Dorset crab

A seabass on a bed of cianfotta with pesto was served with some more super hot rocket.

Seabass, cianfotta with pesto & super hot rocket

The meat course was wild red rocket with grilled lamb cutlets and an avocado, pine nut and lemon salsa.

Wild red rocket with grilled lamb cutlets

Wild red rocket with grilled lamb cutlets

To finish, dessert was a trio of sorbets (strawberry, lemon and blackcurrant).

Compared to other leaves I’ve tried, these have a stronger, firmer texture. If you’re interested in finding out more about Steve’s leaves, or where to buy them, visit their website for more info.