Vegan Dirty Rice with Collards and Black Eyed Peas

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  8 servings
Prep Time:  35 minutes Cook Time:  2 hours

Vegan Dirty Rice with Collards and Black Eyed Peas

Fear not the long list of ingredients here—a lot of it consists of spices and seasonings! This is a very hearty and fast main dish, and it’s so satisfying. It starts with a roux, the paste of flour and fat that is the basis of many classic French (and therefore French-inspired New Orleanian) sauces. If you are serving omnivores and vegans at the same meal, split the rice and just stir in the appropriate sausage. It’s a super-easy meal for many dietary needs.

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup gluten-free flour mix or all-purpose flour

½ sweet onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks (about 1 cup)

½ red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into ½-inch chunks

½ yellow bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into ½-inch chunks

½ orange bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into ½-inch chunks

3 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch chunks

1 shallot, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks

1 bunch collard greens or curly kale, stemmed, with the thick inner ribs removed and discarded (see Kitchen Tip), leaves shredded

1 tablespoon celery salt

2 tablespoon gumbo filé powder, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce, optional

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, optional

3 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock, or store-bought low-sodium vegetable stock, divided (see Kitchen Tips)

1 cup long-grain black rice

½ cup dry vermouth or crisp white wine

6 ounces vegan sausage (about 2 sausages), preferably Field Roast brand, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 cup cooked black-eyed peas or 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, undrained

Instructions

  1. In a very large, deep saucepan, make a roux: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the  flour and whisk well, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the flour-oil mixture turns chestnut brown. Be careful and watch the heat, so that your roux does not burn.
  2. Add the onion, bell peppers, celery, and shallot, and mix very well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the collard greens or kale, celery salt, gumbo filé, smoked paprika, thyme, white pepper, garlic, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and Tabasco, if using, and 2 cups of the stock and stir very well. Cover, bring to a boil, and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the collard greens are very bright green. Add the rice and vermouth or wine and stir well. Cover and cook for 1 hour to 75  minutes, or until the rice is completely soft.
  3. Add the sausage and black-eyed peas and mix very well to incorporate. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring, just long enough to  heat through.  This dish is best served immediately, but it can be reheated with a bit more stock if you need to. Pass the gumbo filé at the table, so that everyone can sprinkle it on to their liking.

Kitchen Tips

  1. When adding the stock in this recipe, first add 2 cups as specified, but know that the age of the rice will affect the amount of stock that you will need, so have another cup ready to use just in case. Older rice takes more moisture to make it creamy. The thing is, you won’t know how old the rice is. It might have been sitting in a granary, processing plant, or on the shelf. It’s perfectly safe to eat, and you won’t notice any difference in the flavor, but you will notice a difference in moisture absorption, which makes for a difference in the texture of the finished product, so be a good Girl or Boy Scout and be prepared.
  2. To remove thick ribs from leafy vegetables such as a collard greens, kale, or spinach, fold each leaf in half lengthwise down the center rib. Grasp the folded rib between the thumb and forefinger of one hand and rip off the leaves with the other hand, working your way down until the leaf halves are ripped off.

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