Gumbo z’Herbs is a great dish that utilizes lots of vegetables, I really don’t miss the meat. Traditionally it is served on Good Friday during lent. It makes an industrial size quantity so I freeze it. It’s a real treat to have this on hand. I like to make this a day or two in advance to let the flavors blend but it’s still wonderful is you serve it the day it’s made. Let the finished gumbo cool to room temperature before refrigerating. This recipe is so versatile.. Feel free to add Red Beans, shrimp, chicken, sausage, or whatever you like. Steve is such a meat eater; he would have to slipped in some bacon or sausage but I kept him from it.
For our Mardi Gras dinner, Steve stuffed quail with dirty rice then grilled the birds. We put a spoonful of dirty rice in the bottom of the serving bowl, placed the grilled quail on that then spooned the Gumbo over and around. That’s why I love this recipe, it invites creativity!
This recipe makes 16 generous servings.
- 1 Cup of Olive Oil
- 1 Cup of Flour
- 2 Large Onions, Chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
- 1-2 Celery Stalks, Chopped
- 1-2 Leeks, White & Pale Yellow Parts Only, Chopped
- 3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Garlic
- 3 Turkish Bay Leaves, Broken in Half
- 2 Teaspoons Herbs de Province
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- ¼ up to ¾ Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Teaspoons of Salt
- 1 8 oz package of Sliced Mushrooms
- Filtered Water, as needed
- 1 Bunch of Swiss chard – Stems Separated from the Leaves, Chopped Separately
- 1 Bunch Tuscan Kale, Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce plus more as needed
- Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice as needed to neutralize the Cayenne
- In a large Dutch Oven, slowly heat the olive oil. Add the flour, whisking constantly, until the roux becomes the color of peanut butter (this could take up to an hour depending how comfortable you are with the process). It’s best to go with a lower heat to prevent scorching if this is your first time.
- Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, leeks & swiss chard stems, sauté until caramelized. Add the garlic, bay leaves, herbs de province, & black pepper. Start with ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne and add more to your liking throughout the cooking process - be very careful – it can be overwhelming. Sautee until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they release their liquid.
- Add water to cover, bring to a simmer. Place the greens in the simmering stew a handful at a time. Simmer until the greens are tender. Add soy sauce, simmer for a few minutes then taste the stew and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. If the Gumbo is too spicy add a bit of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to neutralize the heat.