SWISS CHARD, MARINATED
• 3 1/4 pounds Swiss chard, finely chopped
• sunflower oil, for deep-frying
• 4 cloves garlic
• 3 bay leaves
• 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
• 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Put the Swiss chard into a pan, pour in water to cover, and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain well and, if necessary, chop more finely with a mezzaluna.
Make the dough.
Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl and stir in about 1 cup water to make a dough. Mix the dough with the Swiss chard.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep skillet to 350-375°F or until a cube of day-old bread browns in 30 seconds.
Using a tablespoon, take small mounds of the Swiss chard mixture, add them to the pan, in batches of four, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then transfer to a deep serving dish, and keep warm.
Prepare the marinade.
Transfer 6 tablespoons of the oil to a small skillet and heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add the bay leaves, and cook for a few minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 1/2 cups water, taking care that the oil does not splatter, and the vinegar. Return the pan to the heat, bring to a boil, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic and bay leaves and pour the marinade over the Swiss chard. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving to allow the Swiss chard to absorb the flavor of the marinade.
Note: This dish may also be served cold. Let the Swiss chard cool and prepare the marinade in advance to let it cool.