Vegetarians rejoice! This thick, rich gumbo contains no meat or seafood, but is full of great flavor.
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen okra, thawed and sliced
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon file powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and green bell pepper, and saute until tender. Stir in okra, mushrooms, diced tomatoes and their liquid, tomato paste, file powder, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 40 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stirring constantly, add flour, and cook 2 to 5 minutes, until a golden brown roux has formed.
Spoon the roux into the okra mixture, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened.
File powder is a seasoning made from the ground, dried leaves of the sassafras tree. It's an integral part of Creole cooking, and is used to thicken and flavor Gumbos and other Creole dishes.