Ecopia Farms Introduces Salad Kits

The very gourmet tasting "Winter Salad'' kit from Ecopia Farms.

Find yourself in a salad rut this holiday season, where you’re noshing the same ol’ citrus-, persimmon- or apple-topped one over and over again?

Ecopia Farms wants to help break that ho-hum cycle.

The innovative Campbell organic farm, founded by a former CEO of Solectron and a former president of Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, grows gourmet micro-lettuces indoors under LED lights that now grace the plates of some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants. Now, it’s just introduced two salad kits for consumers.

Each kit comes complete with the farm’s artisan lettuce mix and micro-herbs. The “Holiday Salad” includes Point Reyes blue cheese, candied walnuts, brandied pears, a spiced apple cider vinaigrette, and Maldon salt. The “Winter Salad” includes pickled butternut squash, quinoa with currants, candied pumpkin seeds, Maldon salt and a tangy lemon vinaigrette.

The components come in recyclable/re-usable little canvas, drawstring bags, heavy-duty paper boxes, and glass cruets and mason jars.

All the fixings for the "Holiday Salad.''

The artisan lettuce mix and micro herbs that come with each salad kit.

It’s everything you need to make a gourmet salad in a flash. It’s almost like a curated salad because the components have been chosen with care to work together harmoniously. But then again, the salads were designed by Chef Stephen Beaumier, former chef de cuisine at Quince restaurant in San Francisco, who is now the in-house chef for Ecopia.

The “Holiday Salad” tastes beautifully of fall, with its snuggly apple, pear and walnut flavors. The only minor quibble I had was that the cruet of vinaigrette still contained some bits of sharp cinnamon stick, whole allspice and whole cloves. Although they’re easy enough to pick out, they might pose an issue if you’re serving the salad to children.

The "Winter Salad'' that comes together in a flash.

The “Winter Salad” is a little more unusual with its crunchy, perky, pickled squash planks, and garnish of quinoa and currants. The candied pumpkin seeds were so addicting, you might find yourself sneaking a few straight out of the bag.

The real star of the salads is the lettuce and herbs, themselves. Just on their own, they have such pronounced flavor that you’ll probably find yourself needing to use far less dressing than you normally would. Each bite is a little different because of the mix of greens. My taste buds really came alive when I bit into an itty-bitty leaf of mint that was like an explosion of tingly freshness.

Of course, these salads are not inexpensive, relatively speaking. Each kit is $34.99 and comes complete with enough ingredients to serve 6 to 8. Or you can get a small kit that serves 4 and comes in a pretty hand-made basket for $39.99. When you factor it out, though, the salad kit comes out to be less than $6 per serving, which is less than what you’d pay for a first-course salad at a nice restaurant. And the salad kit is equal in quality to what you’d find at such a restaurant.

The delivery/shipping fee is waived when you order your first salad kit. Or arrange to pick one up by going to Ecopia Farms in Campbell, Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco or Olive This Olive That in San Francisco, and receive 20 percent off your first order. All salad kits must be ordered in advance by calling (408) 680-2505 or emailing:

Veggie Grill's portobello burger.

Winners of Last Week’s Contest

In last week’s Food Gal contest, I asked you to tell me about a food or ingredient that you swore you hated, but then changed your mind about. Two winners will each receive four “free entree” coupons for Veggie Grill.

Congrats to:

1) Janette, who wrote, “Ginseng is the quintessential ‘grown up’ taste for Chinese-Americans. My parents would tell me I would understand its expensive, delicious, and sweet taste when I was older. I hated it in soup and thought it was bitter. Now, I can taste the golden sweetness at the end when I sip ginseng soup.”

2) Judith, who wrote, “I’d have to say oysters. I was fearful for so long of those gooey orbs. Then I got bold and tried soup with one perfectly poached oyster and it was the best thing ever. The texture was so interesting! I approached raw – granted, they were at Bouchon so super top quality – and that chestnut is true “they taste of the sea”. Then of course a N’awlin’s po’ boy….bring them on!”

Plus: More on Ecopia Farms and the Restaurants That Use the Lettuces

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  • Oh this salad kit looks great. You always discover the coolest things!!

  • How interesting…salad kit…and I love all the little containers and canvas bag…very cute.
    Have a great week Carolyn!

  • Wow, I wish I still lived in SF to pick it up. I’m tempted with the free shipping though.

  • It’s always a good thing when veggies are more accessible =)

  • The salad kit is a great idea, especially around Christmas time when you need to serve up something good but doesn’t take too long!

  • This really is a beautiful salad kit. Unfortunatley at this time I think I may have to swear off of salads. I got violently ill after eating a salad out just before Christmas. My body is just now getting back to normal. The worst holiday ever. I love salads and will bookmark these salads for when I get brave again to eat them. This is my second bout with food poisoning from salads in restaurants. At least with these I know they’d be clean because I’d be washing them.

    Happy New Year!

  • I know someone who works here and let me say some pretty nasty things go on here… Way not clean things happening around food. I would personally never eat anything that this place makes. Not only is there employee misconduct happening that contaminating their products (think employees and their private parts) but they have had massive problems with aphids. And they have been coached in how to deal with this problem and are only allowed to use certain products on their produce to clean it; however, they have totally disregarded protocol and have used hand soap to rid their products of aphids, something that is totally not allowed in this business. Also, employees are supposed to clean their phones before going on the farm with this special phone cleaner they have, but no one does it and it’s not enforce and we all know how dirty phones can be and where we take them. I have approached the manager, Jim, with my concerns but he couldn’t be bothered. I highly suggests restaurants and people do not buy from here. It’s a matter of your personal health and safety.

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