Gumbo z’Herbes

Made with nine kinds of greens, this vegetarian gumbo is traditionally served during the Lenten season in Louisiana.

Gumbo z'Herbes
Yields: 8-10 servings
  • 14 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 bunch turnip greens, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 cups chopped butterleaf lettuce (about 1 head)
  • 4 cups chopped green cabbage (about ½ head)
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 1 (4-ounce) bag baby arugula
  • 1 (4-ounce) bag watercress
  • 2 medium sweet onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon filé powder
  • Hot cooked rice, to serve
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley, hot sauce, fresh lemon juice
  1. In a large enamel-coated Dutch oven, bring 14 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually add all greens, onions, and garlic. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Drain well, reserving liquid.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, place greens mixture; pulse until puréed. (Purée in batches, if needed.)
  3. In same Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking occasionally, until light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 10 cups reserved cooking liquid until smooth. Stir in greens mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in parsley, cayenne, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 40 minutes.
  4. Stir in filé before serving. Serve over rice. Garnish with parsley, hot sauce, and lemon juice, if desired.