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Gumbo Z'Herbes

Almost anything green is game here: Good options include turnip or beet greens, spinach, kale, fresh herbs, and green onions.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Gumbo Z'Herbes

Source: Everyday Food, January 2008


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ham hocks (about 1 1/2 pounds total), with several 1/2-inch slits cut into them
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 bunches (3 pounds total) mixed collard and mustard greens, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add ham hocks and onion; cook until onion has softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add greens; cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 7 to 9 minutes. Add broth, 6 cups water, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme; season with salt and cayenne.

  3. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook the gumbo 2 1/2 hours, or until ham hocks are tender and greens are very tender.

  4. Remove ham hocks from pot; shred meat, discarding skin and bones. Return meat to gumbo. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season with salt, and serve over rice.

Cook's Note

After simmering for a couple of hours, the meat is so tender it's easy to shred. Pull it from the bone with two forks.

Reviews (4)

  • KosmicKitty 25 Jun, 2013

    This recipe is a fantastic way to use up greens from the CSA and/or from the garden. Made it twice so far this year, both with different greens added such as kale, spinach and swiss chard. I love it with corn bread and hot sauce on the side.

    I've even made in in my slow cooker. I did reduce the total amount of liquids, but it came out great.

  • marlowlu 7 Jun, 2010

    This made a great side on Memorial Day. I don't eat meat so we added a tiny amount of liquid smoke and some Bacos and it worked perfectly. We made it with swiss chard, collard and mustard greens with some brown rice. Although the flavor was kind of light it was refreshing served with heavier stuff like hot dogs and baked beans.

  • gharris 17 Feb, 2009

    Lynn - Weston Produce, Longo's and Pusateri's all carry mustard and collard greens. Any local Loblaws or Metro will have kale or swiss chard which would also work in this recipe.

  • allynnca 17 Feb, 2009

    This soup sounds delicious and I plan to try it however mustard and collard greens are not available where I live. What other green leafy veggies can I use instead? Thanks.

    Lynn in Newmarket, Ontario

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