Gumbo Z’Herbes With Crab and Prawns
The chef Tanya Holland’s mother grew up in Shreveport, La., and made a version of gumbo that features lots of hearty greens, so Ms. Holland came up with this version for her newest cookbook, “Tanya Holland’s California Soul: Recipes From a Culinary Journey West” (Ten Speed Press, 2022). It’s a blend of her mother’s recipe and a bit of inspiration from the famous Creole chef Leah Chase. Here, the sauce is a vibrant green thanks to a purée of spinach and kale, giving it an earthy lightness and California flavor that perfectly complements fresh seafood. If you can’t find Dungeness crab, use blue crab or Jonah crab in its place.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1yellow onion, diced
- 2shallots, minced
- 2garlic cloves, minced
- 1jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 8ounces fresh spinach
- 1bunch fresh curly kale, large stems removed
- 2cups vegetable stock, fish stock or clam juice
- 1(14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1pound fresh or frozen okra, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3medium Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes, diced
- 1tablespoon filé powder
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- ½pound lump crab meat (preferably Dungeness crab)
- 1pound head-on prawns or shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Lemon wedges, for garnishing
Step 1In a large soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium. Add the onion, shallots, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach, kale, stock, coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the greens to a blender or food processor; add 1 cup of the broth and blend until puréed.
Step 2Return the purée to the pot and add the okra, potatoes, filé powder and thyme. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the seafood and continue cooking until the prawns are pink and the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3To serve, spoon the rice into shallow bowls, and ladle the gumbo over the rice. Garnish with lemon wedges.