Jim & Gen's Mardi Gras Jambalaya
Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Onion, garlic (or garlic scapes), carrots, sweet peppers, jalapeño pepper (optional), eggplant, okra (gumbo), tomatoes, zucchini, delicata squash, and parsley (optional).
A Louisiana/New Orleans-inspired dish that Jim and I created and love which screams comfort food. We like our vegetarian version as is but if you want to be more traditional of a recipe, you can easily add in chicken, shrimps, or sausages.
Ingredients You'll Need
3 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves (or 2 garlic scapes), chopped
2-3 large carrots, chopped
1-2 sweet pepper(s), chopped
1/4- 1/2 jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 eggplant, skin removed and chopped in cubes (my kids like 1/4-1/2 in cubes in this recipe)
1 large bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (approx. 1/2 tsp of dried thyme)
4 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
1/4 lb of okra (gumbo), whole but stalk removed (optional but this is what gives this dish its authentic feel)
1 1/2 cups of tomatoes, chopped (or crushed tomatoes) (approx. 1-2 tomatoes)
1 zucchini and/or pattypan, diced
1 delicata squash, sliced in half, seeds removed and then chopped in cubes (my kids like 1/4-1/2 in cubes in this recipe)
1 1/2 cup of arborio rice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or hot pepper flakes or Sriracha), to taste
15-19 oz can of chickpeas (or kidney beans or other bean of choice), rinsed well and drained
2 Tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped (optional- I usually leave it out)
In a frying pan, heat oil. When hot add in onions and fry until translucent. Add garlic and mix 30 seconds. Add carrots and cook/fry for approx. 3 minutes.
Add sweet peppers, jalapeño pepper (optional), and eggplant and cook/fry for another 4-5 minutes. Add the bay leaf and thyme.
Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then, add the okra (gumbo), tomatoes, zucchini, and delicata squash. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 min.
Add in rice, salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 min, stirring occasionally.
Add in chickpeas and simmer another 3-5 minutes. Check seasoning (salt, pepper). Serve. Add parsley to each bowl upon serving, if using. Let people add their own hot pepper flakes or Sriracha if they want (optional).