Gumbo with Greens

First, make a roux. After seeing this discussion on eGullet, I make mine in the oven.

In a cast iron skillet, stir together a half cup each of extra virgin olive oil and white whole wheat flour (made from soft white wheat). Put the skillet in a 350F oven, and two hours later you’ll have a beautifully dark roux. You can do this step a day or more ahead of time and store the roux in the refrigerator.

Heat your oven-made roux gently in a Dutch oven (you don’t want it to burn), then add a chopped onion and cook it for several minutes. Roughly equal amounts of chopped celery and green bell pepper go in next, followed by half a jalapeno (also chopped and optional) and several cloves of garlic. Season with chile powder, cayenne, salt, black pepper, and paprika, or use a Cajun spice blend.

While these vegetables cook for about 10 minutes, chiffonade a bunch of cavolo nero (aka lacinato kale; take about half the leaves, stack them together, roll into a tight bundle, and cut across the stem into roughly half inch ribbons). Collard greens or plain kale would work, too. Add the greens to pot, and pour in 3-4 cups of water. Stir and simmer, uncovered, for at least an hour, 2 or even 3 hours even better. You may need to add a little more water depending on how thick you want your gumbo (dark roux makes a thinner gumbo). Serve with rice.