Dandelion Green Gumbo with Good Thyme Rice
Serve with Meatless Muffaletta Panini.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 1 cup white rice, such as Carolina brand
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3-4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped with greens
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (1/3 palmful)
- 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 bottle pale beer
- 3-6 teaspoons hot sauce such Frank’s RedHot brand, medium to spicy heat level
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
- 1 can petite diced, crushed or stewed tomatoes (15 ounces)
- 4-5 cups dandelion greens (2 bundles), stemmed and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
Heat a saucepot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO and the rice. Toast the rice for 2 minutes, add 2 cups stock and the thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 18 minutes, or until tender.
Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, and 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When the butter melts into the EVOO, add the garlic, celery, bell pepper and onion and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook to soften the veggies, 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf and flour and cook the flour for another minute. Stir in the beer and reduce the liquid by half, a minute or so. Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes. Add the remaining 4 cups stock to the pot, stir in the greens and season with nutmeg. Raise the heat to bring to a quick boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, until the greens are no longer bitter. Adjust the seasonings, to taste.
Uncover the rice and add the lemon zest and scallions. Remove the thyme stems and fluff the rice with a fork. Remove the bay leaf. Scoop up the gumbo, top with scoops of rice and serve.