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Winter Produce

Don't wait till spring to enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits

Fried cod on fennel, beans and shellfish

Produce like fennel can be enjoyed during the winter months. — Photo by Geoff Fenney/the food passionates/Corbis

In the depths of winter, it can be hard to feel inspired by fruits and vegetables. Missing the peak of crisp apples in early fall, disappointed with watery, out-of-season tomatoes, and the bounty of spring still out of reach, it's easy to retreat into the pattern of frozen peas and broccoli alongside meat loaf, potpie, chili and other wintry fare.

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But take solace in the oft-overlooked produce that's available in February! We're spotlighting Meyer lemons, Brussels sprouts, endive, clementines, blood oranges, and fennel: ingredients for a slew of fresh and colorful meals in the middle of winter. Check out the Eat Well Guide to find out what's in season where you live!

Meyer Lemons
Meyer lemons are quite common in grocery stores from December through early spring. Sweeter and juicier than your average lemon, with an edible and delicate rind, these tart citrus fruits fall somewhere between conventional lemons and tangerines. Meyer lemons shine in tart desserts and salads, and can be preserved by pickling or candying. Try them in these recipes, where they bring a bright sweetness and the promise of spring to the darkest days of the year. 

Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake by Hannah Kaminsky
Meyer Lemon Curd Tart
by Kate Zuckerman
Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta
by Cesare Casella
Crab Salad with Meyer Lemon, Endive and Watercress
by Alice Waters

Brussels Sprouts
Peak season for Brussels sprouts is from September through winter's end, so enjoy these tiny cabbages while they're still at their best. You'll want to choose bright green sprouts with tightly packed leaves for the sweetest flavor. Brussels sprouts are a fantastic source of vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, iron and fiber. And if you think you aren't a fan, give Brussels sprouts another chance. These recipes produce caramelized, creamy or tangy side dishes that pair well with roasted meats.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts by Cat Cora
Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Pearl Onions
by Barbara Kafka and Chris Styler
Brussels Sprouts with Orange
by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
Roasted Loin of Pork with Brussels Sprouts
by Rick Rodgers

Next: More winter fruits & vegetables>>

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