Hot, Hot, Hot Vegetable Calzones - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Hot, Hot, Hot Vegetable Calzones

Per­haps mak­ing a recipe that needs a 400 degree oven wasn't the smartest idea on a day when the tem­per­a­ture out­side felt only slightly cooler. But you know what it's like, once you've started a din­ner plan it can be hard to switch gears. We've made pizza many times and it's a great meal to make with kids. It's so easy for them to help out and you know they're going to want to eat it. But tonight we made cal­zones, or pizza sand­wiches as I told Esme. We made spinach mush­room cal­zones but you could use any­thing you'd put on pizza — pep­pers, sausage, olives, what­ever you like.

I made the sauce in the after­noon and if you were more orga­nized you could also prep your veg­eta­bles in advance, too.

Sim­ple Pizza Sauce

1 onion finely chopped
2 gar­lic cloves minced
1 28 ounce can of plum toma­toes
good splash of red wine vine­gar
1 tea­spoon sugar
a big pinch of dried or fresh oregano
salt and pep­per to taste

Method

Sautee the onion and gar­lic. Drain the toma­toes and either mush them with your hands or break them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add tomo­toes to the onion mix­ture. Add the rest of the ingre­di­ents and allow to sim­mer for about 30 min­utes until it cooks down and becomes thick. I gave mine a quick whiz in the food proces­sor but you don't have to — they're going inside cal­zones anyway!

Veg­etable Calzones

1 bag of whole­wheat pizza dough from the gro­cery store (I under­stand it's really easy to make pizza dough but my gro­cery store, the fab­u­lous Fiesta Farms, makes a good one and noth­ing is eas­ier than that!)
splash of olive oil
2 cups of mush­rooms diced
2 cups of spinach chopped
pinch of dried or fresh thyme
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 cup or so shred­ded moz­zarella
1 small hand­ful of corn meal

Method

Pre­heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Sautee the mush­rooms in a splash of olive oil. When they begin to soften, add the spinach and thyme. Allow the spinach to really wilt. Take off heat.

Sep­a­rate the dough into four pieces. Sprin­kle corn meal on your counter rather than flour, it stops the dough from stick­ing and gives a nice crunch to your crust.

Roll out the dough into about 8 inch cir­cles (or weird oblongs as I made). Have all your fill­ings ready to go.

Esme tore her­self away from the t.v. (okay, Dora was over any­way) to come and help me put the cal­zones together. Place a spoon full of sauce, then a spoon full of veg­eta­bles, then a small hand­ful of cheese on one side of your cir­cle of dough.

Leave a small bor­der at the edges so that you can seal the cal­zones. Once they're filled, gen­tly pull the empty side over and crimp the cal­zones closed. Really pinch the edges or they'll leak! Place them on a cookie sheet and put in a hot oven. They take 20 to 30 min­utes to cook — start check­ing at 20 min­ues. The crust should be toasty brown and not at all doughy. Mine weren't pretty in the end but they were super tasty.

Esme loved them but they do get really hot inside. I wish I'd waited a bit longer to call her to the table as she had to wait quite awhile before she could take a real bite. Which gave her lots of time to pick and pluck at the crust until it looked like a big mess on her plate. Oh, well.…

  

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