Gemelli Chopped Salad
Set some water to boil. In the meantime, get down a large salad bowl and put into it: some sea salt and fresh black pepper, minced garlic, and some fresh lime juice. Into this put some chopped pickled eggs, chopped scallions, chopped pickled mushrooms, chopped artichoke hearts, chopped cucumber. Oh, the water’s boiling. Add the gemelli pasta (gemelli is a braided pasta cut into sticks about 2” long) and some salt. Give it a good stir so that the pasta doesn’t stick. Now back to the salad bowl. Pull the stems from some pickled Italian pepperoncinni chiles and add them to the salad bowl (these provides some nice heat and people can either eat the chiles or easily avoid them). Pour a little pit of the flavoured olive oil from the bottle of chiles. Toss in some torn oregano leaves. Sprinkle some whole toasted almonds, whole cherry orange tomatoes, and some pieces of a sharp Fruilano cheese. Ah, the pasta’s done. Drain the pasta (reserving the cooking water) and run cold water through it to cool it. Add the pasta to the salad. Toss. Add perhaps some more salt and pepper, maybe some extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with oregano flowers.

Corn Bisque
So there’s another pot of water boiling. Add the kernels cut from eight to twelve cobs of corn (or around the same number of cups of frozen corn). Cook. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Purée the corn in a blender and then pass through a chinese cap or a fine sieve into a soup pot. Add enough of the cooking water to the pot to make bring about a creamy consistency. Season with coarse sea salt, fresh black pepper, and minced garlic. Bring the soup back up to temperature and serve garnished with a few leaves of fresh basil.

Sautéed Swiss Chard
Roughly chop some red Swiss chard including the stems. Sauté in extra virgin olive oil until the colour just begins to deepen. Splash with some balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and fresh black pepper.

What To Do With The Reserved Cooking Water
Make stock with it. Add whatever scruffy old vegetables are at the back of the crisper bin of your refrigerator, an onion and a carrot.

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