White sapote: See that thing that looks a little like an underripe green plum? Leave it out on your counter for a day or two and it will transform as if by magic into a sweet fruit with the creamy texture of custard. Sapote is a tropical fruit originally found in Mexico and Central America, but in See Canyon, near San Luis Obispo, Mike Cirone grows two varieties that were developed in California. They look nearly identical, but he says his favorite is the Suebelle, which was found in Encinitas in the 1930s by a woman named Susan Hubbell. It lacks the slightly bitter tinge of the Vernon, which was found in Vista in the 1950s by Wells Miller. One avid sapote shopper recommends ripening the fruit until it is soft and then refrigerating it for a kind of instant fruit ice cream.
Mike Cirone, $2.40 per pound
Asian greens: Most mustard-y brassica greens are hardy and require some cooking to become tender and sweet. But there are exceptions. Red Giant mustard greens are not only beautiful, but they are also delicate enough in texture to be eaten raw. Deep blue-green on one side, they are a dark crimson on the other. Don't cook these, but tear them up and toss the fragments into salads to add a snappy bit of bite (they pair really well with sweet, tart citrus fruit). Much the same is true of mizuna, which looks a bit like a finer, more elegant dandelion green. Though mizuna is traditionally served cooked in its native Japan, that does diminish its already gentle flavor. It's much better in salads.