Gumbo 'Zerbes

"A traditional Louisiana gumbo, and a wonderful way to use up bits of greens from the garden, or the grocery. Use things you used to throw away - radish tops, turnip tops, beet greens - and discover how very good they actually are."
photo by Jenny Sanders photo by Jenny Sanders
photo by Jenny Sanders
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Wash the greens, roll them up and shred them finely, and measure them.
  • Steam them in the water that clings to them.
  • Set them aside, with any cooking liquid from them.
  • Mix the peeled chopped onion with the seasonings.
  • Set aside.
  • Make a roux by cooking the fat and flour, stirring constantly, until it browns, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the seasoned onions, and cook them slowly for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  • Slowly stir in the stock.
  • If using leftover rice, break it up and stir it in.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the greens, heat through, and serve.
  • If using rice freshly made for this dish, omit adding the rice to the gumbo.
  • Put some in each bowl and serve the gumbo over it.
  • (Just simmer the gumbo 10 minutes after the roux and stock have been mixed, then add the greens.).

Questions & Replies

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  1. Yum! We used Mustard, Collard and Chard for this and it turned out great! I look forward to making this again.
  2. Great recipe, thanks for posting! I used leftover rice and the chard I wasn't thrilled to get in my farm share this week, and got a tasty meal! Like Roosie I added a bellpepper that needed to be used up, and a bit of garlic (just because I love it so) I'll be making this again.
  3. I did modify this a little, but its a great recipe and very versatile (as most gumbos are!). We added some meat- some smoked ham, a small tiliapia fillet and a couple slices bacon. We also used a red bell pepper and quite a few cloves of garlic. I used organic red russian kale and this was just a wonderful way to use the greens. I think this would also be great with a stronger green like mustard. I used the spices called for and also added about a tsp of Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning recipe #41970. We also used beef stock rather than vegetable (I used Better than Boullion, and kept it light though). I used brown rice for the rice as well. So, I hope you don't mind all the modifications we made- it made a fantastic dinner. I am always buying greens and then struggling to figure out how to use them. This is a great twist on gumbo and a great way to get the nutrients from the greens. We served with sour cream and Crystal hot sauce- I enjoyed mine with a little extra sharp cheddar. Just great. A keeper! Thank you for another winner, Jenny!


I love to garden, both perennials and vegetables. I am always looking for recipes to fiddle with, especially good simple vegetable dishes. I try to use organic ingredients as much as possible.
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