1 bunch, each, of 6-9 types of seasonal greens such as carrot tops, radish greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, arugula, lettuce, cabbage, collard greens, pea shoots, bok choi, parsley, scallion tops, etc….
1 large whole onion, chopped
2 T bacon drippings (or other fat, optionally– cooking oil, butter, or lard)
Chicken stock, vegetable stock, water
Seasoning– Cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper.
4 cups of cooked rice
Thickening: Gumbo File’
Trim greens, removing tough stalks where appropriate.
Chop finely, and reserve.
Saute chopped onions in a heavy-bottom skillet in bacon drippings until transparent. Transfer to large stockpot.
Over medium heat, add greens to onions in bunches, stirring to coat, and allowing to wilt, then adding the next batch. When all greens have been added and wilted down, cover with chicken stock (or options, above), and season with cayenne, salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, skim, then reduce heat to a low, rolling, boil.
Sear seasoning ham in heavy bottomed skillet, remove, cool, cut into bite-sized pieces, and add to greens. Cook for 2-2 and 1/2 hours, adding liquid (approximately 4 quarts, in total) to keep greens covered and maintaining level of broth throughout. Correct seasonings.
Serve over cooked rice.
Sprinkle each serving with a bit of file’ powder to thicken. Stir it into the hot bowl of gumbo, and enjoy.
For a full explanation of traditions, techniques, and ingredients, refer to Chef Maggie’s blog, Notes from Maggie’s Farm.
Market Vendors: Johnson’s Backyard Gardens, greens, and OrganiCare Farms, smoked, cured ham steaks.