Carrots, parsnips and potatoes ripen in the cold of December, as do broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, chicory, dill, fennel root, leeks, parsley, rutabaga, romaine and spinach. All these vegetables can remain in their prime through most of January and February.
Add artichokes to the list of vegetables that ripen in February, as well as endive and rutabaga.
Fruits that peak in January include apples, avocados, Clementines, grapefruit, lemons, olives, oranges and tangerines, with pears getting an earlier start in December. Technically, an avocado — like the tomato — is a fruit, although many consider both to be vegetables. As for olives, this is a bit tricky. They’re fully mature in January, but they’re often harvested as early as October while they’re still green. Apples are no longer at their best in February unless they’ve been refrigerated from an October harvest.
Almonds, chestnuts and walnuts are in season in January and February, with dried figs and hazelnuts making an earlier debut in December.