What to cook with the winter harvest

11 December 2018 4 minute read

We present three easy recipes – packed with winter crops – that will help see you through the colder months.

It’s the time of year when gardeners will be looking to harvest a number of vegetables, particularly robust brassicas like Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage. Some leafy crops like chard, rocket and oriental greens can also overwinter without too much protection and are versatile enough to work in a variety of delicious dishes. Here are a few to inspire you, and excited your taste buds.

Kale, potato and Brussels sprouts soup

This hearty classic is the perfect way to keep the cold at bay and use up a number of different crops that you may have leftover after the festive period.  

Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 700g Brussels sprouts, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, bashed
  • 1kg potatoes, chopped 
  • 12 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 bunches kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (red pepper flakes if desired)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan
  2. Add the onions and sprouts and fry until golden brown
  3. Add the garlic and fry for a minute
  4. Add all other ingredients except the kale to the pot
  5. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until the sprouts and potatoes are nearly done
  6. Add the kale
  7. Continue to cook until the kale is soft and well mixed in
  8. Season to taste and garnish with red pepper flakes if desired

Brussels sprouts and potato hash

This super simple side is something that can be cooked in no time, with very little preparation, and it’s sure to ward off any unwelcome pangs of hunger for hours to come. If you fancy it, throw in some smoked bacon or pancetta for a tasty porkiness that suits the season.

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g Brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise
  • 500g potatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dry thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest


  1. Preheat a large pan over a medium heat
  2. Sauté the potatoes and sprouts in half the oil
  3. Cover and cook for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t burn
  4. When potatoes are tender, add the remaining ingredients (here’s when omnivores would add the bacon) and continue to cook for 15 mins Serve as a side with warm cuts of meat, a nut roast, vegetable fritters etc.

Tofu, chard and oriental greens stir-fry

Ah, the humble stir-fry: the go-to dish for time-strapped professionals looking to get their vegetable fix with fast and faff-free single pan simplicity. Let’s face it, they’re delicious, and the minimal washing up is a bonus. This dish uses pak choi, tatsoi and chard – all ingredients that can be harvested at this time of year.

Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 ½ tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Red chilli
  • 500g tofu
  • Bunch spring onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bunch chard, stems sliced into 1cm pieces, leaves removed
  • 1 bunch pak choi, stems sliced into 1cm pieces, leaves removed
  • 1 bunch tatsoi stems sliced into 1cm pieces, leaves removed (other oriental greens will also work)
  • 2 cups chopped red peppers
  • 1 ½ tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 30g roasted cashew nuts
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a wok
  2. Sauté the ginger, sesame seeds and chilli for 1 min
  3. Add tofu and stir-fry for 2-3 mins
  4. Toss through the spring onions, garlic, mushrooms, chard stems, pak choi stems and tatsoi stems and stir-fry until the stems are soft
  5. Add the chard leaves, pak choi leaves, tatsoi leaves and red peppers and stir-fry for 2-3 mins
  6. Add the hoisin, cashew nuts and soy sauce and warm through
  7.  Serve with brown rice or fresh noodles

Tempted to try them out? Let us know how you get along! Share them with us on social media @TreesforCities, or send them into Schools@treesforcities.org. Feel free to get in touch if you are keen to hear more about what to harvest at this time of year. Eat well, be merry!  

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