Photo of Gumbo z'herbes by WW

Gumbo z'herbes

Total Time
2 hr 55 min
30 min
2 hr 25 min
Leah Chase is one of NOLA’s most highly regarded chefs, and this recipe is a spin on her popular Gumbo Z’Herbes. You will find the word “pot liquor” in lots of cooked greens recipes. It is the deeply flavorful liquid that forms when cooking down a pot of greens. It is never thrown away, but rather incorporated into the dish. Gumbo often includes a piece of smoked pork, such as a hamhock, but we’ve substituted smoked fish for lighter spin.


Fresh mixed greens

3 pound(s), (such as mustard greens, Swiss chard, collards, or turnip greens; about 6 bunches), trimmed and chopped

Uncooked onion(s)

2 large, white, chopped (about 2 cups)

Garlic clove

7 clove(s), chopped

Kosher salt

1 Tbsp, plus a generous pinch

All-purpose flour

2 Tbsp

Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked bell pepper(s)

2 item(s), medium, green, chopped

Uncooked celery

2 medium stalk(s), chopped

Dried thyme

1 tsp, crushed

Cayenne pepper

¼ tsp

Black pepper

1 pinch(es), large

Packaged smoked trout

¼ pound(s), rainbow trout fillets (not canned), flaked

Fresh parsley

1 cup(s), stemmed and chopped

Dried basil

1 Tbsp

Bay leaf

3 leaf/leaves

Cooked long grain brown rice

3 cup(s), hot, for serving


  1. In large heavy pot or Dutch oven, place greens, onions, garlic, and 1 tbsp salt. Add 6 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are completely wilted and tender, about 45 minutes. Strain greens, reserving pot liquor (liquid in pot). Transfer greens to food processor and process until thick and chunky paste forms.
  2. Wipe pot clean. Add flour and cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to smell toasty and turns light peanut-butter brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.
  3. Heat oil over medium in same pot. Add bell peppers, celery, thyme, cayenne, and 1 generous pinch each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir 2 to 3 tbsp reserved pot liquor into toasted flour to make thin paste and add to pot. Stir in remaining pot liquor, puréed greens, fish, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook, stirring often, until flavors deepen, 1 to 2 hours. Discard bay leaves. Divide gumbo among bowls and top each with 3 tbsp brown rice.
  4. Serving size: 3⁄4 cup