Glorious Green Gumbo

 
2 Quarts water
1 lb. collard greens, washed well, destemmed, and roughly chopped (or 1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen)
1 lb. turnip greens, washed well, destemmed, and roughly chopped (or 1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen)
1 lb. kale, washed well, destemmed, and roughly chopped (or 1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen)
1 lb. spinach, washed well, destemmed, and roughly chopped (or 1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen)
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 T. garlic, minced
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 T. Creole Seasoning
1/2 t. salt
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
2 cups brown rice, rinsed
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce, for garnishing
 

In a large saucepan, place the 2 Quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Cook the collard greens in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to blanch them. Using a slotted spoon, remove the collard greens from the boiling water, place them in a large bowl, and set aside. Cook the turnip greens, kale, and spinach in the same manner, and add to the bowl of collard greens. If using frozen greens, cook them individually in the boiling water until thawed, then remove them with a slotted spoon, and place them in a large bowl for later use. Set the cooking liquid aside for use in the gumbo.

In a large pot, stir together the oil and flour to form a roux. Cook the roux over medium heat, while stirring constantly for 20-30 minutes, or until it is a golden (nutty) color. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, stir well to combine, and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Slowly, stir a little of the greens' cooking liquid into the roux-vegetable mixture, blending them thoroughly together, and then stir in the remaining cooking liquid. Add the reserved greens, cabbage, Creole Seasoning, salt, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the 4 cups water to a boil. Add the brown rice, stir well, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the rice to steam. After the gumbo has simmered for 45 minutes, add the parsley and nutritional yeast, and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Taste and add additional Creole Seasoning or salt, if needed. Serve the gumbo in bowls over the brown rice, and garnish individual servings with a little Tabasco sauce, if desired.

* Note: you can substitute other fresh or frozen greens of choice such as, Swiss chard, mustard greens, beet greens, or escarole.

Serves 8

 

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1999-2002  Beverly Lynn Bennett