GHDS Diversity & Inclusion Committee- Recipe of the Month

Chef Leah ChaseThe GHDS Diversity and Inclusion Committee is pleased to feature “something New and Tasty” for our ongoing initiative. Here we feature this month's recipe that you can try in your own kitchen! In honor of Black History Month observed each February, we highlight the recipe, Gumbo Z'herbes by the late Chef Leah Chase.   

Leah Chase brought New Orleans Creole cooking to international attention. Known as “The Queen of Creole Cuisine,” Leah Chase was the chief chef of Dooky Chase’s, her family’s restaurant and a New Orleans landmark. In the 1950s, civil rights organizers met at the restaurant plan their course of action.

Gumbo Z'herbes

Chef Leah Chase Creole CookbookRecipe courtesy of Leah Chase, Dooky Chase Restaurant 
Excerpted from One Big Table by Molly O'Neill
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant and Chef Leah Chase


Serves 8


  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 bunch turnip greens
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 bunch beet tops
  • 1 bunch carrot tops
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • water, as needed
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 pound smoked ham
  • 1 pound brisket stew meat
  • 1 pound boneless brisket
  • 1 pound hot chaurice sausage
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon file powder

Clean all vegetables, removing bad leaves and rinsing away all the grit.

In a large pot, place all greens, onions, and garlic. Cover with water and boil for 30 minutes.

While the greens are boiling, cut all the meats and sausages into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Strain the vegetables after boiling, reserving the liquid.

In a 12-quart stockpot place smoked sausage, ham, and brisket meats, adding 2 cups of the reserved liquid. Steam for 15 minutes.

While steaming the meats, place the chaurice in a skillet and steam until the fat is rendered. Set the chaurice aside, reserving the grease.

Purée all vegetables in a food processor or meat grinder.

Heat the skillet of chaurice grease; than add the flour, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until a light-colored roux is achieved. (The roux does not have to be brown.) Pour the roux over the steamed meats, stirring well. Add the vegetables and two quarts of the reserved liquid.

Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the chaurice, thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well.

Simmer for 40 minutes. Add filé powder, stir well, and remove from heat.

Serve over steamed rice.