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** Variety is the spice of life, FoodLover!

No one wants to eat the exact same thing every single day. That gets boring and monotonous. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could experience the convenience of making a familiar recipe while enjoying new flavors each time? That's something I can help with!

I would like to introduce strategy #3, cooking with Base recipes. Base means these recipes are the sturdy base on which you can base other recipes. The idea is that you learn and get comfortable with a few Base recipes and while using the same amounts and same technique but changing just a couple ingredients you end up with something that tastes new and interesting. There’s your variety, the easy way!

The following recipe for hearty greens salad will look familiar because I included it in last week’s introduction to Prep recipes; it was the Base for the roasted veggie salad. This week we’ll explore how varying just a couple of the ingredients in the dressing and adding a couple ingredients to the greens can result in a completely different meal, one that you can whip together over and over with whatever you like best or have on hand!

Base© recipe for HEARTY GREENS SALAD

  1. Hearty greens, about 6 cups, shredded or chopped See the variations below for suggestions on what tastes great, but feel free to use whatever you like best because any green will work. • 8-10 medium leaves of Tuscan, green or red kale • 6-8 large leaves of white, red or rainbow chard • 6-8 large leaves of collard greens • 1 medium/large head escarole • 1-2 bunches mustard or dandelion greens

Trim the bottom inch or so from the tuscan kale, collards or chard but do not de-stem. Lay 3-4 of the leaves on top of each other. Roll the stack of leaves as tightly as you can then cut very thin slices from the roll to end up with shredded greens. If using red or green kale, escarole, mustard or dandelion greens just chop them.

Add greens and add-ins of your choice to bowl with dressing, toss well until everything is coated evenly. Eat at room temperature. Also keeps leftover pretty well for several days in the fridge.

  1. Salad add-ins (see below)

  2. Basic vinaigrette A note about vinaigrettes: the two ingredients that make a vinaigrette work are the oil and the acid, which is most often vinegar but can be any acidic fruit juice. These ingredients not only provide balance to each other (oil has richness and the acid provides bite) but depending on the particular oil or acid you choose the flavor of your dressing can change dramatically. Make the vinaigrette following the recipe below but experiment with different oils and different acids to see what you like best!

• 2 med/1 lg clove garlic, crushed • 1 Tbs honey • 2 Tbs cider vinegar (this is the ACID, see below for substitutions) • 2 oz olive oil (this is the OIL, see below for substitutions) • 1/4 tsp salt • pepper to taste

Make it in the bowl you plan to serve the salad in. Add everything but the oil to the bowl and whisk until combined. While continuing to whisk add the oil slowly. Dressing should end up being somewhat thick.

Here are the variations. Remember, they're just suggestions. If you have some ingredients on hand that you love, go ahead and toss them in. Salads are almost foolproof and a great place to experiment!

SUMMERY 1. Kale 2. Salad add-ins 1 small red pepper, chopped 1 avocado, cubed 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 3. Vinaigrette substitutions ACID: lemon juice OIL: olive or avocado

AUTUMNAL 1. Kale or chard 2. Salad add-ins 1 pear, thinly sliced 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 3. Vinaigrette substitutions ACID: balsamic vinegar OIL: roasted pumpkin seed or roasted butternut squash seed, avocado or grapeseed

EARTHY 1. Escarole 2. Salad add-ins 1 medium beet, washed & shredded 1/2 cup walnuts 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese 3. Vinaigrette substitutions ACID: orange juice OIL: walnut

FRENCH COUNTRY 1. Dandelion greens or escarole 2. Salad add-ins 1 cup cooked grains 1 cup cooked French lentils 1/2 cup caramelized onions 3. Vinaigrette substitutions ACID: cider vinegar OIL: olive

SOUTHWESTERN 1. Kale or collards 2. Salad add-ins 1 cup raw, cooked or thawed frozen corn 1 cup black beans 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack 3. Vinaigrette substitutions ACID: lime juice OIL: olive or avocado CSA rundown, week #16:

Lettuce Butternut squash Tomatoes Spinach Beets Cilantro Kale Sweet potatoes Onions

No newbies this week in the regular CSA but we did receive a thank you gift (shown above) for referring a friend who purchased her own farm share this season. Our gift included two onions, a head of garlic, a tiny delicata squash, and our newbie for the week, a very adorable teeny tiny honeynut squash. Here's a bit of info on this variety. (http://foodloveinc.us13.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=77cc26e06f414291d7c463df7&id=8fcb168265&e=0ab9ec18fb)

Thanks, FoodLover, for reading. Head on over to our blog (http://foodloveinc.us13.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=77cc26e06f414291d7c463df7&id=534162afac&e=0ab9ec18fb) to join the conversation and please share (http://foodloveinc.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=77cc26e06f414291d7c463df7&id=287020f542) with all the FoodLovers you know! Hi! I'm Tonianne, food evangelist and creator of FoodLove. That's me happy as can be, cooking for friends on a camping trip, and sharing wonderful conversation about – yup, you guessed it! – food. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the conversation, too. PHOTO CREDIT: D. SHEA

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