“You could,” Farmer Lee Jones shares, “put an entire head of lettuce on a plate, one that is only 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, and these are both eye-catching and incredibly flavorful. Plus, because they aren’t grown as long, they are amazingly tender.”
Take the petite carrot as another example, which is about inch in length. Lee has seen people do a double-take when passing by these bite-sized morsels. “Chefs are joyfully surprised by their size and appearance, because there is this preconceived notion that carrots must be long,” he says. “Then, when they taste them, they are amazed by their full-sized flavor.”
With the petite-sized radish, you can incorporate a touch of France into your menus. There, discerning diners add a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of salt to the mild French breakfast radish to enjoy one single bite of deliciousness. You can do the same with a petite cherry bomb radish, as well. “What’s wonderful about the petite stage of a radish,” Lee shares, “is their delicate, even gentle, flavor. People who have only eaten large radishes, ones pithy and hot, are in for a pleasant surprise when they bite into their very first petite radish.”
Other petite-sized vegetables that delight diners include alliums, snow peas and turnips, each ranging from one to two inches in size.
Chefs can play with these morsel-sized fresh vegetables on the plate, and Lee says that’s comparable to painters suddenly being able to wow people with different colors of paint.
Executive Chef Jamie Simpson of the Culinary Vegetable Institute expands upon the palette metaphor, suggesting that chefs envision what size of brush stroke a particular dish needs. He suggests chefs ask themselves the following questions:
Adding petite-sized farm fresh vegetables to the mix, he says, gives chefs a powerful new tool to produce what has just been imagined.
That’s exactly what NPR called our fresh vegetables, in part because of our eight-stage set of patented sizes, with the article quoting Lee as sharing how, “At every stage of the plant’s life, it offers something unique to the plate. We’ve learned how to look at that plant in a way that says, ‘Why not?’”
Part of our pampering involves waiting for the exact right moment to harvest a particular plant. It would be easy, of course, to create a spreadsheet and list that, on a certain day and time, the team should pick squash blossoms. But that’s definitely not how we operate! Here is Lee sharing our process with NPR.
"You're trying to walk past those ones that are waning, if you will, and pick that one that's right today, in this particular moment, in this particular hour, the perfect squash bloom, so that it can go onto the plate and blow the guest away of that chef.”
Here is more information about our petite-sized vegetables:
How are you imagining using petite-sized vegetables in your creative dishes?