You’ve heard of designer dogs. These are designer vegetables. Prettier, smaller varieties (like fairytale eggplant) are part of a new generation of hybrids, a cross between two parent plants that farmers have bred with enhanced characteristics, such as brightness of color and flavor, nutrition and environmental resilience, according to Keely Gerhold, co-founder of Tinyfield Rooftop Farm in New York City. Some are of these veg you’ll see in nicer grocery stores; others you’ll have to look for at the farmers’ market or on menus at restaurants that respect produce. Click through for more of our favorites.
Patty Pan Squash
A great source of vitamins A and C, and folic acid, these scalloped hand-sized saucers are more delicate than their larger brethren, rendering peeling unnecessary. Simply toss with some extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast until fork-tender (you’ll be rewarded with a naturally buttery side dish).