Gumbo z'Herbes


New Orleans cooks traditionally make this smothered greens dish without meat for Good Friday. David Kinch, however, prepares his version with a generous amount of pork, as well as eight different kinds of greens, including carrot tops. 

Gumbo z'Herbes
Photo: © Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs
8 to 10


  • 1/2 pound mustard greens, stemmed

  • 1/2 pound collard greens, stemmed

  • 1/2 pound turnip greens or kale, stemmed

  • 1/2 pound spinach, stemmed

  • 1 cup carrot-top greens

  • 1 bunch watercress

  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce

  • 3/4 pound green cabbage

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4 scallions, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Cayenne pepper

  • 1 pound hot andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

  • 1/2 pound smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons filé powder (see Note)

  • Hot sauce and cider vinegar, for serving


  1. Coarsely chop all of the greens and add to a very large pot, along with the onion, garlic and scallions. Add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over moderate heat until the greens are very tender and lose their bright color, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the greens into a food processor, along with the flour, and coarsely puree.

  2. Return the broth in the pot to a boil and add the pork. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add the andouille, ham, thyme and greens and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Stir in the filé powder and serve with hot sauce and vinegar.

Make Ahead

The gumbo can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


Filé powder (also called gumbo filé) is made from ground sassafras. It’s available at

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied Cabernet Franc often has an herbal edge, which helps it pair well with greens, like those in this substantial gumbo. Try one from southern France or California.

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