Makes 4 servings
Wild puslane (Portulaca oleracea) takes the place here of the okra used in traditional gumbo recipes. It has similar thickening properties, but adds a flavor all its own. Closely related to celery, bishop’s elder (Aegopodium podograria) replaces that vegetables here. The filÃ© powder stirred into traditional gumbos is made from dried powdered sassafras (Sassafras albidum) leaves – a tree native to our region’s forests (and parks)!
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup bishop’s elder stems and leaves, chopped
1-3 fresh or dried hot chilÃ© peppers
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups chopped purslane leaves and stems
2 links andouille, chorizo, or other smoked sausage cut into ½-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoons filÃ© powder
Salt to taste
(Plus cooked rice to serve the gumbo over)
In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the roux is a rich brown color. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.
Add the onion, bell pepper, bishop’s elder and hot peppers. Return to the heat. Whisk in the stock. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, whisking constantly.
Reduce the heat to a medium. Add the purslane, sausage and garlic. Simmer until the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the filÃ© powder and salt to taste. Serve over cooked rice.
Vegan Variation: leave out the sausage, add 1 cup cooked beans, substitute 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo for the hot chilÃ© peppers.