Gumbo Z'herbes

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1 pound medium-sized mushrooms, smoked (directions follow)
1 pound red beans, cooked
or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed well
1 cup olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup minced garlic
6 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons white pepper
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 gallon water
1 bunch collard greens
1 small head cabbage
1 bunch turnip greens, rinsed and chopped
or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen greens
1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen greens
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce

This is a twist on the Southern tradition of eating collards on New Year's Day for good fortune. Only in New Orleans they do it during Lent and make a gumbo with up to seven greens (hence the name, a corruption of the French "gumbo aux herbes"). Richard Stewart of the Gumbo Shop ( developed this unorthodox version when he decided to add a vegetarian gumbo to the menu. He threw in red beans and smoked mushrooms because other renditions he had tried tasted too much like "penance food." To smoke mushrooms: Rinse in water, then trim the bottom of the stems and place on a pan in a smoker for about 45 minutes. To cook red beans: Rinse and sort 1 pound red beans, cover with water and soak overnight. Simmer over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, until just tender. Drain, reserving the water to use as part of the water for cooking the greens. To make the gumbo: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir until a peanut butter-colored roux is attained. Immediately add the onion, bell pepper and celery. Saute until vegetables are tender and start to stick and brown a little, about 6 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, herbs, peppers and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, in another large soup pot, bring the water (and bean water) to a boil. Chop the collards and cabbage into 1-inch squares and boil until just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the turnip greens, mustard greens and green onions and return to a boil. Coarsely chop the smoked mushrooms. Add it to the roux mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Carefully stir the roux-vegetable-mushroom mixture into the simmering greens and return to a boil. Add the parsley and soy sauce to taste and the cooked red beans. Bring to a boil once more, then remove from heat. Serve over rice. This dish is best if refrigerated overnight, then reheated. Makes 20 servings Per serving: 224 calories (percent of calories from fat, 46), 7 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 11 grams fat, no cholesterol, 775 milligrams sodium.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathy published on January 30, 2001 11:11 AM.

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