Beans and greens is the ultimate delicious-but-affordable pairing. And with so many possibilities when it comes to variety and flavor, it’s a hard meal to tire of. The creamy and slightly sweet vodka sauce mellows a head of kale (but you could just as easily use Swiss chard, mustard greens, or escarole here). A couple anchovies, red pepper flakes, and parm (pantry staples in my kitchen!) add bit of extra funk and heat, but even if you skip them, this meal clocks in at just under $10. A side of crunchy garlicky toast makes an excellent vessel for shoveling beans and greens into the mouth, but it’s also delightful when tossed with pasta.
- Heat the oven to 350ºF. Grate garlic into a small bowl. Stir in ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and season with lots of black pepper. Slice the baguette on the diagonal into about 8 long slices and arrange on a sheet pan. Brush the garlic mixture on both sides of the bread and bake until deeply golden brown and fragrant (about 10 minutes per side)
- Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves from the stems and rise both. Trim the edges of the stems, then (carefully - they can be firm and fibrous!) chip the stems finely. Roughly tear the leaves.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium. When it shimmers, add the kale stems along with anchovies and red pepper flakes if using. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Heat a medium skillet over high until smoking, then add oil. Let heat for 20 seconds, then add the scallions in a single layer. Shake the pan to coat all the scallions in oil, and let cook until charred on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue tossing every 2 to 3 minutes until the scallions are evenly charred.
Stir in the Tomato Alla Vodka Cannellini Beans and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add half of the kale leaves to the pot and toss until coated in sauce. Cover and cook on medium low until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining kale leaves (they’ll just barely wilt).
Use a microplane to zest the lemon into the pot. Halve the lemon, then squeeze in the juice. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the beans and greens to a shallow serving bowl if you’d like, or serve straight from the pot. If using, top with Parmesan. Serve beans and greens with plenty of garlic bread alongside for scooping.