A Louisiana Spring tradition
Vegan / Gluten Free
- 4 ‐ 6 bunches of greens, including nearly any combination of at least 5 – 7 different “herbs”, such as: dandelion leaves, lovage, mustard greens, kale, escarole, turnip tops, watercress, endive, nettles, chicory, spinach, radish tops, beet greens, scallions, ramps, parsley, arugula, chickweed, nasturtium leaves, etc.)
- 1 onion and / or shallots, diced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 1 small fennel bulb & fronds, chopped
- 1 Anaheim or poblano pepper, diced
- 6 ‐ 10 cloves garlic, smashed & chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- Good‐sized handfuls of fresh herbs to taste, including: thyme, oregano, marjoram, tarragon
- Dashes, to taste: ground allspice, ground cayenne, smoked paprika, ground cloves, black pepper, white pepper, salt
- 8 ‐ 10 cups stock / broth; can include some white wine
- Small amount of thickener (gluten free flour, corn starch or potato starch)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Gumbo file powder, for serving
- (Optional‐but‐not‐traditional: sliced okra, zucchini, sautéed after adding the celery but before adding the stock.)
Wash greens well to remove grit. Remove & compost tough pieces of stems, ends, etc. Chop greens & set aside (I don’t recommend pre‐boiling them as many recipes suggest – it ruins the nutrients and the beautiful green color fades!)
In a large, heavy‐bottomed stock pot make a roux of the flour and shortening. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add the tarragon, thyme, bay leaves and sauté 5 more minutes.
Add the stock / broth, greens, spices, and remaining seasonings. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Adjust seasonings as necessary. (Keep some greens out to add at the last minute if a brighter green color is desired). Add more stock if the gumbo gets too thick.
To serve, scoop gumbo over your favorite rice (basmati, jasmine, brown, white, red, black), sprinkle a bit of the file powder on each bowl, & pass the hot sauce (smoked Tabasco is nice).