|I still snuck in some Italian parsley|
Like a lot of stewed dishes, this one is pretty relaxing, something you can mind for an hour, stirring occasionally, while still keeping up with family and friends. The fruity richness of extra virgin olive oil mingles with rustic whole wheat flour to form a hearty, complex roux that gives the sauce a substantial, stick-to-your-ribs texture. While burning is to be avoided, the toasty depths of the the roux are important to develop, as they balance the bouquet of bittersweet greens and a liberal dusting of Cajun spices. An ideal way to employ the first greens of spring while the nights are still chilly, no one will leave the table disappointed.
Adapted from Chow.com
Traditionally, gumbo z'herbes is made with a gathering of seven different greens for luck; like Voldemort's horcruxes, or the colors of the rainbow before 1996. For this gumbo, we chose a mix of arugula, baby spinach, dandelion greens, flat leaf parsley, and radish sprouts, but other good options are collards, mustard greens, kale, watercress, and the various tops of carrots, beets, radishes, and turnips.
3 lbs mixed greens, carefully washed and drained
3 c water
1 tsp sea salt
For the gumbo base:
2/3 c extra virgin olive oil
2/3 c whole wheat flour
1 large yellow onion, medium dice
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced, green tops reserved for garnish
2 large green bell peppers, medium dice
6 celery stalks, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 c vegetable stock
3 tbs Cajun seasoning (recipe follows)
2 bay leaves
Tear the greens into large pieces and place in a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid (~4-5 quart capacity is good) . Add water and salt, cover tightly, and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the greens, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and yielding, about 15 minutes.
|Defiant 'till the end|
|Are you getting nuttiness?|
Strain the greens, reserving their cooking liquid, and allow them to cool slightly in the colander. Slowly add the juice from the greens into the gumbo, stirring constantly to incorporate, then mix in the vegetable stock.
Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle in the Cajun seasoning and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until the gumbo is thick and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Once the greens are cool enough to handle, move them to a cutting board and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss about half the greens into the gumbo.
Take the remaining half of chopped greens and mince them finely, then add into the gumbo and stir well.
Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice, garnished with thinly sliced scallion tops. Serves 8-12.
6 tbs sweet paprika
2 tbs smoked paprika
4 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbs ground white pepper
3 tbs garlic powder
3 tbs onion powder
2 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs cayenne pepper
Seal all ingredients in an airtight container and shake vigorously or whisk together in a small bowl.
|A healthy hit of spices helps|