A January produce guide to what’s fresh and delicious right now with tips and recipe inspiration. What’s in season in January? Beets, bok choy, blood oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and other citrus, red cabbage, carrots, turnips, and hardy winter greens.
What’s in Season in January
The time of year has arrived when I stretch my definition of seasonal eating. As the options available at the famers market dwindle, I turn more and more to the grocery store and ingredients shipped all the way from California, while also trying to make the most of year-round local staples. But even with food coming from much farther away, these cold-weather hardy, in-season ingredients are some of the most flavorful and affordable options.
The bright spot in winter eating is citrus and the January produce guide features lots of it! In season in January, we have all manner of bright sweet citrus from blood oranges to grapefruit to tangerines.
Like carrots, beets with their greens attached tend to be fresher than storage beets without greens. They have a snappier texture and are less dense and sweet. A bonus is that beet greens can be eaten too – use them like you would chard.
- Rainbow Beet and Blood Orange Salad
- Chocolate Beet Cake
- Beet Soup with Beet Green Pistou
- Roasted Beet Wedges with Beet Green Tzatziki
My garden is currently tucked under a row cover and I haven’t been brave enough to see what survived the hard Christmas frost. Up until then, I had a nice little section of bok choy and was enjoying all the things I could make with it. The stuff I was growing in the garden was regular-sized, kind of unwieldy bok choy. If you can find it, opt for more tender baby bok choy or just select the smallest heads.
- Salmon Red Curry Soup
- Grilled Teriyaki Salmon with Bok Choy
- Chicken and Turnip Noodle Ramen with Bok Choy
- Soy-Glazed Cod with Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms
Blood oranges are in season and here to add color to sweet and savory comestibles. Look for firm fruit with a blush of red in the peel.
- Vegan Coconut Milk and Blood Orange Panna Cotta
- Blood Orange and Wild Rice Salad with Chard
- Non-Alcoholic Blood Orange Spritzer
Cabbage is abundant and delicious right now. Even though it’s in season almost all year, I appreciate it more in the winter months. Below, you’ll find three red cabbage salad variations that show just how delicious cabbage can be.
- Red Cabbage Pressed Salad
- Salmon Tacos with Red Cabbage and Cilantro-Avocado Sauce
- Thai-Style Slaw with Pan-Seared Chicken Breast
As I mentioned above, I prefer beets and carrots with greens attached, but feel free to use what you can find or have on hand. I use a vegetable brush instead of a peeler and it has greatly improved my relationship to carrot prep.
- Roasted Carrots with Green Tahini
- Carrot and Fennel Soup
- Glazed Carrots with Carrot Top Chimichurri
- Roasted Carrot Salad with Cracked Pepper Crème Fraîche
Delightfully bitter grapefruit is one of my favorite with ingredients. Because the bitterness is nicely tempered by sweet and creamy elements, a nice creamy dressing with honey and sliced avocado is a beautiful complement to grapefruit’s tang.
We are still eating our greens. Below, I have a few wintry comfort food recipes that make the most of dark, leafy greens.
Mandarins, Tangerines, and Other Citrus
Wintertime is citrus season and it’s an excellent time to experiment with varieties you may not have tried before, Satsuma and other mandarins, tangerines, and Cara Cara all some of my favorites.
- Roasted Fennel and Satsuma Salad
- Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Mint and Orange
- Kohlrabi, Avocado, and Orange Salad
Winter is a good time to really explore the range of homely root vegetables. Turnips have a bitter edge that lends complexity to rich dishes. Turnips also make for a very tasty fritter. For a sweeter alternative, try rutabagas, or mix the two tubers.