Vegetarian gumbo

Last year I was lucky enough to visit New Orleans when I was on holiday in Texas, staying with a friend. I really wanted to taste the food there – gumbo, jambalaya, beignets etc – and I got to try it all, except gumbo. I had the most amazing veggie jambalaya in Scarlett O’Hara’s on Decatur Street. Sadly, it seems that place might not be open anymore – I can’t imagine why as I remember the dessert I had – Bananas Foster – was the best ever.

Anyway, getting off the point slightly…! So I never had my gumbo but I came across a recipe in one of my BBC Good Food magazines by Simon Rimmer and after reading the blog post by Sheila Belle about New Orleans food, I knew I had to try it.

I’m not sure how much it differs with real gumbo – obviously it is lacking the meat element – but it had sweet potato, cabbage, and okra in it. As my local supermarket had no decent okra, I had to substitute it (I chose green beans) but other than that, I stuck to the recipe. And perhaps I shouldn’t… it called for only 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and that was way too hot for me! I am not sure I’ve had cayenne pepper before – or used it much – to know I can’t cope with that heat. I am a wuss! But anyway. The recipe was delicious – I’ll be making it again, but with less chilli. Served up here with (unusually) nann bread:

UPDATE 1 Feb 2015: This recipe was made on Sunday Brunch so the recipe is now online

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