Beans and Greens Alla Vodka Alla Root Radical

This is another one of those “seems fancy but really isn’t” recipes that could definitely be a potluck contribution or date night special but neither breaks the bank nor your spirit. Comes together right quick and makes for good leftovers too! On the recipe upon which this is based, there are a bunch of comments from people who don’t like beans or kale but who love this recipe, which I feel bodes well overall.

Beans and Greens Alla Vodka Alla Root Radical


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (or the whites of a whole slew of green onions as the case may be) finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lil can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 can white kidney beans, navy beans, or chick peas drained but not rinsed
  • 1 bag kale coarsely chopped (remove ribs if you have a podcast you’re listening to)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, soya milk, or coconut milk (i feel like oat milk might be a bridge too far)
  • grated parmesan as needed


  1. For added flair, put the red pepper flakes in the vodka a few minutes before starting to pull more zest out of the pepper flakes.

  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, vodka and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is a shade darker and starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup of water, the beans and the kale, season with salt and bring to a simmer. Might take a bit of gentle folding to encourage that kale to get in there and shrink a bit. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is flavorful and the kale is tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Taste and if it needs more salt, stir in some grated Parmesan. Serve with more Parmesan on top.
  5. You can serve this by itself, on pasta or rice, or with a side of crusty bread! Delish.