3 onions, chopped
Bunch celery, chopped
8 medium carrots, chopped
2 yellow & 2 red bell peppers, chopped
Head garlic, minced
2 -3 jalapenos, minced
1 lb okra, cut into rounds
Bunch rainbow chard
Bunch dandelion greens
Bunch flat leaf parsley
Clamshell of mixed greens
Large clamshell of spinach
500 g bag frozen peas
500 g bag frozen beans
350 g bag frozen corn
2 cups cannellini beans
1 cup olive oil
1 1/3 cup flour
2 litres vegetable broth
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp thyme
1.5 tsp rosemary
2-3 tsp Hungarian paprika
2 tsp Spanish paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp cayenne
Hot pepper flakes to taste
Apple cider vinegar
Vegetable buillon cubes
1. Soak cannellini beans overnight or for several hours. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the beans by about 2 to 3 cm. When ready, rinse beans thoroughly, return to pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer until beans are tender.
2. Chop onion, celery, carrot and bell peppers, place in bowl and set aside.
3. Mince garlic and jalapeno peppers, place in small bowl and set aside. Be careful when chopping jalapenos, wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes and nose or wear gloves.
4. To make the roux, heat large pot. Once hot, add olive oil until also hot. Carefully add flour, about a third cup at a time and whisk it in. Once all flour incorporated, stir continuously, allowing the flour to darken. The darker the roux, the more flavour it develops. But do not let it burn! Once a medium brown, quickly add chopped vegetables, garlic and jalapeno and stir. Once onion is tender and transparent, add salt, pepper, herbs and spices and then veggie broth.
5. Rinse and roughly chop chard, dandelion greens and parsley. Add the chard, greens, mixed greens and spinach to the pot, bit by bit, letting them wilt and incorporate. Add parsley last.
6. Rinse okra and pat dry, cut off ends and slice into half-centimetre wide rounds. Heat small pot or skillet, add some olive oil (maybe a tbsp or 2) and once oil is hot, cook the okra. Stir frequently. It will start off slightly mucousy but, as it cooks, this reduces. Once ready, add okra to stew.
7. At this point, you can add frozen vegetables, liquid smoke, about a tbsp of vinegar and hot sauce, as well.
8. When beans are tender, add to stew. Let stew simmer. (I didn’t boil my beans long enough, so they were still a bit al dente, so I finished my gumbo in the oven at around 350F.)
9. If the stew is too thick, add a bit of water or more vegetable broth. But it shouldn’t be soupy, either.
10. Adjust seasoning to your own likening.
11. Serve over quinoa, rice or grits.
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
1 tsp olive oil
1. Prior to chopping vegetables, soak quinoa in water for about two hours. Rinse thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Add all ingredients to put and bring to boil. Let it simmer until water absorbed. Fluff quinoa grains.
I’m a Canadian girl of Eastern European origin. I’ve never had gumbo in my life. But I’ve always wanted to try it. I have to admit that I find the cuisine of Louisiana so entirely fascinating, because its origins are so global. The confluence of First Peoples, Africans, Europeans and Acadians brought about such a dynamic and unique set of dishes. I don’t entirely understand the difference between Cajun and Creole within the context of Louisiana and New Orleans.
I make no claims that my gumbo is authentic. While I did a lot of research and reading on the various ingredients and the methodology, particularly with regard to the roux and the various greens, I let my imagination take free rein.
I've also never cooked okra before, though I've had multiple occasions to eat it (peanut stew with foo foo and okra, so good!). I did what I thought made the most sense and would keep the mucousy-nature of this vegetable to a minimum. If there's a better way to cook and/or incorporate okra into this dish, I would be happy to hear it.
This makes a ton of food, moreso than I anticipated. In fact, by the time I was ready to add the beans, I had to divvy the mixture between my two biggest pots. So, feel free to use less onion, celery and bell pepper and you could easily omit the carrot and frozen vegetables. Carrot isn’t traditional, but to my mind, if there’s onion and celery, there has to be carrot. I’m so used to everything being based on a mirepoix, but gumbo has a more sofrito-esque base. I also wanted the gumbo to be substantial. Hence, the carrots and the frozen vegetables, which, I believe, are also not traditional. But somehow, the mix of beans, peas and corn generally end up in nearly every stew and soup I make. It’s what I grew up with.
Unfortunately, my grocery store didn’t have an extensive variety of greens. They didn’t have mustard greens, collard greens, beet greens or other kinds of chard. So, I went with they had. Please feel free to mix it up!
Traditionally, gumbo is served over rice. I decided that I would try it with quinoa. And it was quite good!
If you don’t have an aversion to analogs, you could fry up some Tofurky Italian sausage, slice it into rounds and serve with the gumbo. I ended up buying some, because mine turned out a bit thin.
I’d happily welcome any input you all may have. Please tell me if I'm completely off-base.