Serves: Makes 4 servings
- 4 large Swiss chard leaves
- 6 ounces fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, in 4 equal slices
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Hot red pepper flakes
- Pinch of kosher or sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 slices Italian country bread, about 1⁄2 inch thick and 4 inches long
Procedures:The big, floppy leaves of Swiss chard make flexible wrappers for grilled foods—in this case, a slice of mozzarella, a pinch of oregano, and an anchovy fillet. Warmed over the fire, the chard crisps and the cheese melts. Set the seared package on a thick piece of toast and serve it as a knife-and-fork first course.
- Prepare a moderate charcoal fire for indirect grilling or preheat a gas grill to medium (375°F), leaving one burner unlit.
- Separate the chard leaves from the ribs by cutting along the ribs with a sharp knife. Try to damage the leaves as little as possible.
- Put the leaves in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 2 minutes. Drain in a sieve or colander and immediately run under cold running water until cool. Drain again and gently squeeze to remove excess moisture. Unfurl the chard leaves on a kitchen towel, shiny side down, and pat dry.
- Put a slice of mozzarella in the center of each leaf. Top each slice with an anchovy fillet, 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano (crumble it between your fingers as you add it), and a pinch each of hot pepper flakes and salt. Fold the bottom of each leaf over the cheese, fold in the sides, and then roll to form a neat package. Brush each package lightly all over with olive oil and sprinkle all over with salt.
- Put the Swiss chard packets on the grill over indirect heat. Cook uncovered, turning once, until the packages feel squishy, indicating that the cheese inside has warmed enough to melt, 5 to 8 minutes total. While the chard cooks, brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil. Place the bread on the grill directly over the coals or gas flame and toast on both sides.
- Put a piece of toast on each plate. Top each toast with a Swiss chard bundle. Serve immediately.