Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Veggie "Calzones"

While making these calzones the other night I was surprised to find that I had never shared them before.  They are a regular fallback in our house as a not too unhealthy, but really tasty meal.
I titled the post veggie "calzones" because I am not sure they really qualify as a traditional calzone.  I put cheese in the ones I make for John, but not ricotta as you will usually find in a calzone from an Italian restaurant.  I use mozzarella because it is a cheese I will put in other things if I have leftovers.
I think what really makes this recipe is the roasted red peppers.  I have used two different roasting methods.  For roasting with an electric oven and stove unit, I broil the red peppers, turning them every five minutes or so until the entire skin is bubbled and blackened.  For a gas stove, I put the peppers directly on the burner, turning regularly until the same result is achieved.  Using either method I place the roasted peppers in a container with a lid, a casserole dish or a pot.  I put the lid off and the steam from the peppers loosens the burnt skin.  After about a half an hour, or when the peppers are cool enough to touch (remember, once the peppers open up they will be filled with steam, so be careful not to burn yourself) I remove the skin and seeds by hand and then rinse the pepper.

Veggie Calzones (makes 4 calzones, between 4 and 8 servings)

1 batch of pizza dough, or enough to make 2 large pizzas (you can make this by hand or buy it premade)
6 roasted peppers, sliced to bite sized pieces
half a pound of lightly steamed spinach
12 kalamata olives
1 large portobella cap, chopped and cooked until tender
1 onion sliced thin and caramelized
4 cloves of garlic, lightly sauteed
1 small ball of mozzarella, cubed (optional)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
btw 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp ground pepper depending on your tastes
1/2 tsp oregano
pinch red pepper flakes

When the dough is ready to be shaped, preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Sprinkle two baking sheets with cornmeal.  Divide the dough into 4 equal sections.  Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl and mix.  Roll or stretch the dough balls into 4 rounds about 7" in diameter.  Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and arrange about a quarter of each ingredient on half of each dough round.  Sprinkle the seasoning mix on the other ingredients.  Fold the dough over, being careful to tuck in the folded corners and seal the edges together.  Make two or three slits in the top of each calzone.  Bake about 15 minutes until you have a good brown on the top. Serve with warm marinara and enjoy.

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