Seasons & Spice Pairings: Winter

Seasons and Spice Pairings: Winter Produce

I can hardly believe it’s November already. Of course that’s because generally it’s warm and sunny here in Austin. Just last week I was trying to explain to my mom (in Chicago) how 80 degrees can indeed feel like fall to us.

While we might not have extreme season changes, winter produce is slowly starting to show up. Pears, Pomegranates… I’ll take them all. Today, I’m sharing a few more of my favorite easy ideas for pairing fresh produce with McCormick’s Gourmet Spices.

Mushrooms: To me, nothing is more comforting (yet healthy) in the wintertime than mushrooms. We just love cremini mushrooms in hearty soups. I make a version of this white bean soup all the time – when I don’t have fresh herbs, I change up the flavor combination using cumin and coriander instead.

Pears: Crisps and crumbles are my favorite easy desserts to throw together. My favorite version right now is this walnut pear crisp. In addition to cinnamon, try spicing it up with nutmegallspice or cardamom.

Seasons and Spice Pairings: Winter Produce Seasons and Spice Pairings: Winter Produce

Brussels Sprouts: I didn’t realize how great brussels sprouts were until I first had them roasted with crispy browned edges. As they come out of the oven, toss them with a big squeeze of orange juice, soy sauce (or better yet, fish sauce), and a few pinches of crushed red pepper. Or toss them with this chili-orange vinaigrette and serve with rice.

Winter Greens: I love kale, and I’m assuming if you read this blog than you do too. One of my favorite go-to kale preparations is a raw salad made with an ancho chile vinaigrette. (Olive oil, ancho chile, honey, and a little white wine vinegar). Massage torn kale leaves with the vinaigrette until the leaves become tender. Top with feta cheese and pomegranates.

And when you’re tired of kale (as if that could ever really happen), try out mustard greens or collards to change up your green routine. Sauté mustard greens as you would spinach, or make chipotle-spiced hummus wraps using collard leaves instead of a tortillas.

Seasons and Spice Pairings: Winter Produce

Cauliflower: I could write a whole post about the versatility of cauliflower. But the way I eat it most often is simply roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika or madras curry. Make a little yogurt sauce with ginger and a squeeze of lemon to dip it into. Or blend it up your roasted cauliflower into this smoky roasted cauliflower & leek soup.

Seasons and Spice Pairings: Winter Produce

Pomegranates: Pomegranates are on trees all over my neighborhood right now. Their seeds are delicious in salads (like the one I mentioned above), or topped on oatmeal or yogurt. I make this maple cinnamon granola all the time. It’s great to have on hand for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

This post is in partnership with McCormick. All thoughts, words and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Love & Lemons!


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  1. Jessica from

    Most of me loves living in New England for so many reasons – the scenery, the snow, the seasons – but I just think it’s so cool to live in a warmer climate year round. My husband is from Southern California, and from what he tells me, all he honestly misses is the fresh, inexpensive produce! I Once in a blue, his grandma sends us lemons from her backyard lemon tree. They’re amazing! Great post suggestions, thanks for sharing. xo

  2. Thanks for the tip.
    I am a big fan of Broussels sprots and in a constant search of new ways to prepare them. i´ll give a try on your recipe.
    Right now, at home we just boil them until “al dente” in salted water and them finish the dish on a pan with butter or olive oil and finely chopped bacon until everithing is lighty browned.
    Best regards

  3. These are all such great ideas. The warming spices of cold weather cooking cannot be beat. I must try this roasted cauliflower and leek soup.

  4. I really like the idea of cumin spiced cremini soup with mustard greens and roasted brussels sprouts with orange & crushed red pepper. Enjoy a restful weekend, Jeanine 🙂

  5. Thankfully we have a lot of brussels sprouts at our farm right now and I’m definitely trying them with a little soy sauce and orange juice! Thanks for the brilliant idea!

  6. Chili Orange Vinaigrette sounds awesome. I have some spinach and some shrimp it might be destined for this evening 🙂 I’m going to have put up my favorite brussels sprouts recipe soon! Might not appeal to everyone here as it has evil pig meats in it!

  7. It’s posts like this that remind me (and other readers) that each season has its bounty, and that they’re all worth savouring. This will be a pleasure to come back to as the days get shorter and gloomier, and finding dinner inspiration will be so much harder. Thanks!

  8. Claudia from

    Such great pics and ideas again. Really: you make me want to try brussel sprouts again although I tried it once in a while and always got put off by the odor when it’s cooked, maybe roasted it will do.

  9. rae from

    I can definitely see how just having fall vegetables can make things feel autumny! 🙂 All great veggies – esp. brussels sprouts!

    rae of love from berlin

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.