Gumbo z’Herbs isn’t Gumbo as you might know it. First off, there’s not okra called for. You use file or nada. Nada being easier to come by ;-> Gumbo z’herbs is a bunch greens of different kinds all cooked up with the Trinity and roue and spices. Just like that. If not during Lent, you can add sausage or ham and seafood like oysters, but really it’s all about eating those greens in the fall or early spring.

I went down to the Carrboro Farmer’s Market and filled up on everything I needed on Saturday morning. Even though I slept in a bit, I had not trouble getting everything I needed. Proportions change according to taste and availability but here’s what I did:

1/2 head of cabbage – I used red which will mean the broth will be purple, most recipes call for green/white cabbage

1 bunch of collards

1 bunch of beet greens

1 bunch of turnip greens

1 bunch of kale (I left this one out)

whatever other greens you like say spinach, carrot tops, etc

Trinity: 1 Onion, 2 – 3 Green Pepper, buncha Celery (I used bok choy instead, tearing off the greens which I used with the greens above and chopping the stems).

Garlic – I use a lot

Oil, flour for roux (I admit I skip this part most time – kill me later Cajuns)

Thyme, allspice, file (I use this as the thickener), hot pepper (fresh, dried, roasted or powered as suits)

1/2 to 1 pound of Chorizo – crumbly kind as opposed to the hard Spanish variety (remember I was getting this all local).


Wash the greens. Wash them again. One more time. These are right off the farm and are gona be gritty if you don’t.

Stem greens as appropriate. Roll em and slice into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces then chope into sorta squares.

Boil them greens. Put the cabbage and collards in first as they take longer to cook. Later add the beet greens and finally the spinach or carrot greens. use enough water to cover. about 30 minutes of boiling all together.

In another pot, heat the oil. Then add the garlic and the trinity and the hot peppers. Stir until the onions are transparent.

Add the chorizo and brown.

Add the cooked greens dipped from the water, reserving the water.

Stir the greens in good then add the spices.

Now add enough of the reserved water to cover and keep on cooking. Bring to a boil then simmer so that the flavors blend nicely.

Serve alone or over rice.