I had pizza dough left over from Saturday, and had designs on it for a calzone for tonight. It was a busy weekend, and I ran out of time to do my typical rough sketch of dinner ideas for the week, followed by grocery shopping. Which is probably a good thing because my refrigerator is so packed full that I’m not sure I could fit in anything more. Granted, I have several projects going on at the moment, but still….it overfloweth. So I’ve decided that my task this week is to feed myself with what is in there. I have very fond memories of meals created over the years by, so to speak, pulling something out of a hat, first with my husband and later with the kids. It was usually on nights when either the weather was too terrible for a trip to the store, or when I was just too tired to think outside the confines of the kitchen. This week I’ll revisit those days.
I don’t take a kitchen sink approach to calzone any more than I do pizza. Too much is just too much – flavors, calories. I love to be able to taste each ingredient. I have mushrooms, I have broccoli, onions and garlic are always on hand, and I’ve probably got just enough homemade ricotta to make it all interesting. And there’s a tomato on the worktable that needs to be used up tonight.
I went ahead and made two. I never finish an entire one, so I look forward to it for lunch the next day. And the other will be a freezer treasure for an evening when I’m short on time and/or ideas.
What filling combinations can you come up with?
1/2 batch of pizza dough (The Dancer That Pizza Built)
1/2 yellow onion, 1/4″ dice
2 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, minced
8 button or cremini mushrooms, stems removed, 1/4″ slices
1 large or 2 small stalks broccoli, thinly sliced
1 tomato, 1/2″ dice
Sea or kosher salt to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Be sure to keep the onion peelings and mushroom stems for the stock pot.
- Warm an 8″ skillet over medium-high heat. Film bottom with olive oil. When hot (it will shimmer or “ribbon”), reduce heat to medium and add onion along with a pinch of salt. Sauté until softened and translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add mushrooms and sauté until they begin to release some of their water.
- Trim the end off the broccoli stalk. Slice the broccoli stalk in half lengthwise, then slice the stalk and florets into 1/4″ pieces. Add to the pan. Cook until warmed through. You’re not trying to get it done, simply hot. It will continue to cook inside the calzone. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute more.
- Remove pan from heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Allow to cool while you shape the dough.
- If dough has been refrigerated, remove to room temperature for an hour before shaping. Divide dough in half and shape each into a round ball. Work with one at a time. Flour your work surface and set a piece of dough in the center. Press it flat, then begin pressing it into a circle. When it is about 5″ in diameter, drop a piece of plastic over it and let rest for 15 minutes to let the gluten relax and let the dough stretch more easily. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
- After the rest period, use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into a circle 10″ in diameter. Set each on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Divide ricotta cheese between the two doughs. Use the back of a spoon to spread it around on one half of each circle, leaving a 1″ border at the edge. Divide the filling ingredients between the two doughs, spreading it into an even layer.
- Brush edge of each dough all the way around with cold water. Fold the clean half of dough down over the one covered with filling, creating a half moon shape. Roll the edge toward the center, then crimp tightly all the way around. Brush the tops and rolled edges with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea or kosher salt. Bake until risen and evenly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Remember to rotate the baking sheet halfway through the bake time so that the calzones are evenly exposed to the heat of the oven.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting open.