Sometimes we take spinach for granted. Though it’s available year round, spinach is a true cold weather green and can permeate any portion of your winter menu. From fine-dining salads to sports bar appetizers, the nutritional value and approachable flavor profile of spinach has got your back.
- Seasonality: Year-Round (peaks in late autumn)
- Favorite Varieties: Savoy, Semi-Savoy, Smooth
- Try Cooking: Spinach artichoke dip & winter salad
If you didn’t know better, it’d be easy to confuse this Mexican favorite for a fresh fruit. Crisp, juicy, and subtly sweet, jicama is a great option to lighten up latin-inspired dishes. It pairs great with spicy and citric flavors too, so don’t be afraid to bring the heat.
- Seasonality: October-June
- Favorite Varieties: Agua Dulce, Jicama de Leche
- Try Cooking: Jicama con chile & jicama salsa
Few vegetables are as unique and sophisticated as fennel. The strong anise flavor can be a game-changer when utilized correctly, and immediately spices up plain-old dishes. Still need convincing? Let Italian cuisine prove the power of fennel.
- Seasonality: September-February
- Favorite Varieties: Bronze, Trieste
- Try Cooking: Carrot and fennel salad & parmesan crusted fennel
Root vegetables shine during the colder months, and turnips are no exception. However, turnips have the added benefit of their delectable greens, which can be a game changer to waste-conscious kitchens. Root-to-stem enthusiasts, this one’s for you.
- Seasonality: October-March
- Favorite Varieties: Green Globe, Scarlett Queen, Tokyo Turnip
- Try Cooking: Mashed turnips & turnip greens quiche
Broccoli is so omnipresent in American menus that it’s easy to forget that they have a peak season. When winter hits, broccoli truly excels, as its inherent flavors begin to fine tune with age. Aside from being crazy versatile, broccoli can be used from root-to-stem and is adaptable to a plethora of cuisines! Your mom told you to eat broccoli for all those years, so it only makes sense that you should cook with it too.
- Seasonality: Year-round (peaks October-April)
- Favorite Varieties: Calabrese, Marathon
- Try Cooking: Broccoli soup & broccoli and beef stir-fry
Nothing warms the soul quite like soul food. Luckily for southern-food fans everywhere, the eternally beloved collard greens peak during the winter months. Don’t focus exclusively on standard preparations though, collards are excellent when sautéed or stuffed!
- Seasonality: January-April
- Favorite Varieties: Bulldog, Morris, Top Bunch
- Try Cooking: Southern-style collard greens & stuffed collard greens
Chances are, if you feel an aversion to brussels sprouts, they weren’t given the care they properly deserve. Although brussels sprouts can be finicky when cooked, a perfectly prepared brussels sprout is a beautiful thing; equal parts hearty and tender with a nutty savoriness.