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