Day 85: Greens with Sour Cream ♥

Greens with Sour Cream, another simple, sumptuous vegetable ♥ Low Carb. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.
How to turn tender leafy greens (like Swiss chard, beet greens, leafy spinach and other tender or young greens) into something completely delicious and decadent, almost like a simpler, earthier version of creamed spinach.

Real Food, Fast & Flexible. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.Low Carb. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free. Rave Reviews.

Wow. These Greens Are GOOD!

And no wonder, what with all the butter and sour cream. But if you're working your way into liking greens, this would be a great place to start. And if you already love greens, these are definitely worth a splurge.

The recipe comes from my long-time dear friend Hilary. Late one night, after a long day hiking and swimming on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, she cooked a batch with beet greens while I grilled lamb burgers outside. By the time we sat down to eat, we could have melted from satisfaction.

These Greens Are Still GOOD!

It's been 15 years and these greens remain a kitchen standby. The trick is to use the right greens, to clean them well and hmmm ... if you can, maybe to make more than you think you'll need because yeah, they're that good.

THE RIGHT GREENS For this recipe, I recommend using a softer, more tender green. That means beet greens, Swiss chard, bok choy or a leafy spinach (not baby spinach, that's too tender, it'll melt). Other greens can work (turnip greens and some kales, say) if they're young and tender. I've tried this recipe with sturdier greens like mustard greens, collard greens and some of the heavier kales: just not as good.

CLEAN THE GREENS Greens contain so many crooks and crannies, it's hard to remove all the grit and grime. This is especially true for greens from home gardens, farmers markets, etc. Some times you can get away with rinsing the greens under running water. Other times, they really need soaking and swooshing two or three or even more times. Even then, take a taste test to see if there's still grit hanging on for its dear life. Gritty Greens = No Good.

MAKE ENOUGH A huge pile of greens will shrink down quite small. That said, a small serving of greens often feels like plenty. So you'll have to decide what's the right amount for your own situation.

"DELICIOUS! I never would have thought Swiss chard could taste sinful!" ~ Erika

Greens with Sour Cream, another simple, sumptuous vegetable ♥ Low Carb. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes for cleaning plus 15 minutes for cooking
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes 2 small but rich servings

So here's the thing with greens. Mostly, you just cook what you're lucky to get. So cook with you have, playing loose and adjustable with the amounts.

~ For a Large Bunch of Greens, About a Half Pound (225g) ~
Tender greens (Swiss chard, beet greens, leafy spinach, some young kales)
Butter (about a tablespoon)
Chopped ribs and stems (if they're tender enough for cooking)
Onion, slivered (about half a small onion)
Garlic, slivered (about 1 large clove)
Salt & pepper (to taste)
Sour cream (about 2 tablespoons or to taste)

STEAM THE GREENS UNTIL TENDER Prepare a kettle to steam the greens in a collapsible steamer basket and bring the water to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, clean the greens very, very well by soaking and then rubbing under running water. If the inner ribs are tough, cut them out and chop along with the stems into bite-size lengths and reserve for cooking with the onion. Loosely layer the greens in the steamer basket and lower it into the kettle, cover and steam the greens until nearly cooked, about 10 minutes, and still bright in color. Remove from the heat. (You can prepare the greens ahead of time to this point.)

FINISH IN A LARGE SKILLET While the greens steam, heat a non-stick or well-seasoned skillet on medium heat, add the butter and let melt. Stir in the chopped ribs and stems, onion and garlic, let gently sauté until just beginning to soften, stirring every so often. Stir in the Steamed Greens and season with salt and pepper. When the greens are hot, stir in the sour cream, let it warm briefly and then serve immediately.

SHORTCUT RECIPE For very tender greens, you can get away with skipping the steaming step, then sautéing the onion in butter, then adding the greens to quickly cook right in the skillet until soft but still bright green, then turning in the sour cream. This is a great way to add a bit of healthy greens to a simple meal for two or four.

On occasion, I use this recipe with tougher greens or more often, just what turn out to be tougher-than-expected greens. Some times, steaming just isn't enough to tenderize the leaves without turning them into mush. The fix is easy, just dump the greens into the cooking water and finish cooking there, you might need to add additional water since steaming requires so little.
Sour cream is decadently good! I've also tried non-fat Greek yogurt and it comes nowhere close flavor-wise and even clumps up in an unappealing way. Sour cream it is ...
Don't stress about the ingredient amounts, once you have the idea, just cook instinctively. It'll soon become rote, a delicious "no recipe" recipe.

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A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. DELICIOUS! I never would have thought Swiss chard could taste sinful!


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