Good buys in produce this week include broccoli from Santa Maria and cauliflower from the Coachella and Imperial valleys. Romaine, red and green leaf lettuce are heading downward in price, according to the Fresh Produce Council. Reasonable prices can also be expected for cabbage and green peppers, which are coming from Mexico.
Markets are now receiving good-quality spinach, thanks to warmer weather in the Oxnard growing area. If washing the grit from the leaves is too time-consuming, take advantage of packaged, ready-to-use, pre-washed spinach. It's more expensive than buying by the bunch but a convenience when you have to make spinach salad in a hurry.
Corn from Florida and Mexico is also available now. The ears are smaller than summer corn grown in California, but the kernels are juicy and sweet.
Fresno is anticipating a fine crop of figs, a by-product of the freeze. For the first time in years, temperatures were cold enough to send the trees into total dormancy. By spring they should be strong and ready to produce luscious fruit. Varieties include Kadota, Mission, Tena, Adriatic and Conadria.