Gumbo Z’Herbes

Green gumbo or gumbo of herbs is soooo New Orleans. This Creole gumbo is traditionally served on Good Friday. I serve it during the winter when local greens are at their best and in abundance at the local farmers markets. This gumbo is easy to make because it allows you complete free expression in combining your favorite greens. It always tastes wonderful and it is almost impossible to ruin.
Adapted from Leon Soniat, La Bouche Creole

1 -2 bags/bunches fresh spinach
1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
1 bunch turnip greens, chopped
1 bunch collard greens, chopped
½ cabbage shredded
2 quarts water
1 stick butter
2 onions chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
½ cup chopped parsley
Pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
5 tablespoons flour

Options:

• If you do not want to use fresh greens replace with 1 package of the frozen greens listed above.
• Some people like to add stew meat or ham to gumbo
• 1 dozen oysters can also be added to gumbo just before serving
In a skillet melt ½ stick butter and sauté onions, bell pepper, and celery. Fill a large pot with 2 quarts water and add all of fresh greens, cabbage, bay leaves, basil, thyme, allspice, cloves. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered. Add sautéed veggies to greens. Continue to simmer for one hour. Then add green onions, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne.
Remove about a quart of the gumbo from pot and puree in blender or food processor. Return to pot and continue to simmer for 2 hours.
Just before serving, take ¼ stick of room temperature butter, add to flour and make a paste. Add a little of the paste at a time into pot and stir in. This will make the gumbo thick.

(This is when you can add oysters if you like)

Can serve over rice if you wish. I like it straight from the pot with a little hot sauce added for extra spice!!!



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