New Year's Day I spent most of the morning in the kitchen. Over the years, I've been looking for new ways to fix our mandatory black-eyed peas and greens for the day. This year, I decided to try a gumbo aux herbes.
My grandmother gave me a copy of Creole Cookery for Christmas and while flipping through it, I noticed the recipe for a gumbo consisting mostly of a mix of seven (or more) greens. On Christmas Day, I mentioned to my grandmother that I was thinking of making a gumbo aux herbes for New Year's, and she said that that was one of her mother's specialties — which pretty much cinched things for me: I had to give it a try.
Saturday, during naps, I ran out and bought the requisite cabbage, collards, spinach, parsley, scallions, mustard greens, lettuce, and kale. Most of the greens were pretty picked over, so I had a little trouble pulling together the three pounds I needed (I ended up using the recipe from The Picayune's Creole Cookbook). On Monday, I started cooking. It took a while to clean the greens (which barely fit in the pot until they started wilting) and then they had to boil for two hours. As it was cooking, Evelin and I both grew increasingly wary, but it actually turned out quite tasty ... with a lot of leftovers. (The black-eyed peas, however, didn't turn out too good; I think it was the bag of beans, not the way I prepped them.)
Gumbo aux Herbes
- 3 pounds of mixed greens — collards, mustard, turnip, beets, kale, spinach, parsley, lettuce, cabbage, scallions, etc.
- water or stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 toes garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 11⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
- salt, pepper, & Tabasco
I don't know if I'll be cooking this in 2008 or if I'll go back to my hoppin' johns recipe or try something else, but it was neat to be trying something my great-grandmother used to make.