I made a New Year’s Resolution to cook dinner for my girlfriend U— at least once a week. We chose our current apartment in no small part because of its kitchen; I aim to get more value from our investment. I also ordered a bi-weekly CSA box – the kind filled with fruits and veggies that gets delivered to your porch. The first delivery was filled with kale, squash, apples and my absolute favorite kind of citrus: meyer lemons.
To make the first dinner a little more special, I opened a bottle of wine we’ve been holding onto ever since a trip to Napa last year. On that trip, we visited a small winery called Duckhorn, where we sat on the nice sunny porch and enjoyed a tasting of about five wines. Neither of us are wine experts by any means (although I hold that U— has an unusually accurate palate, though she’s not convinced), but we both remember the Cab and the Sauvignon Blanc from that day. We were almost ready to leave, when U— decided she couldn’t go back without a bottle of the white.
Before I started cooking, I held up the squash and asked U— what we should name it. Her exact words: “The only word I can think of is ‘Gubernatorial.’” After his christening, Gubernatorial was quartered and baked as the first step in prepping the ingredients.
The spicy pork sausages were next – pan-fried and deglazed with water (normally you’d want to use wine, but this night’s wine wouldn’t have been appropriate for cooking). The garlic was sautéed with red pepper flakes in the leftover sausage drippings and a little olive oil. Then came kale, salt, and a splash of water. While working, I zested one of the meyer lemons from the box and saved the zest for the squash, then halved the lemon, squeezing one half over the finished kale.
On the other burner, I got some butter sizzling and then added some chopped thick bacon, plus chopped onion after the bacon had cooked for awhile. When the onions softened, I added chopped apples, caraway seeds, salt, and the lemon zest, finishing the fry-up with the butternut squash (baked, peeled and chunked) and a squeeze from the other half of the lemon.