MMM...calzones. Basically a pizza folded in half for your eating convenience. I love me a good pepperoni calzone, but I'll take this vegetarian option. And, yes, they do have calzones in Italy. Although they seem very simple, like this recipe, they are a filling "pick up and go" lunch item. I've snacked on my fair share during my time out there. (Hee hee...it rhymes.)
I was in a quandry as to what to do for the pizza dough. I DID NOT want to buy an already prepared dough from the grocery store (they didn't look very healthy). Trader Joe's wheat pizza dough was my stand-by, but I wanted to try something different. So I saw this pizza dough mix and gave it a shot. It is very simple and very good. It even has parmesan in it (so technically this was a four-cheese spinach calzone). Yeah, it was a little pricy, but it came with two packs of mix, so I'll save the other one for another time.
As far as the cheese goes, I mixed things up a little. I used a firm ricotta cheese (not your typical cottage-cheese looking kind) because I didn't want my calzone to get soggy. Also, I used a soft Fontina cheese to help the filling develop an oozing factor. Finally, I decided to stick with the recommended Gorgonzola because I found a great deal at the grocery store.
Green onion: $0.59
Ricotta Cheese: $2.49
Pizza dough mix: $8 (I know. I decided to splurge...crazy, eh?)
Sure a touch pricy, but the results are actually worth it.
Fast: Well, my pizza dough had to sit out for an hour, so it really wasn't that quick. I suppose if you use the kind that comes already done in a tube, this recipe could take you about 25 to 30 minutes. NOTE: Make sure you put your spinach in the fridge the night before in order to defrost in time. Otherwise, you'll have to use the microwave and could possibly end up cooking your spinach (like I did).
Easy: The filling part of this recipe is super easy. As far as the dough, I suppose pre-made dough is pretty much a no-brainer (just read the instructions). If you're making your own dough, that gets a little more advanced. The most difficult part of this recipe is the actual assembly of the calzone. Make sure you pinch the edges of your calzone to seal them. I like to make a little twist on the end not only for looks, but to make sure it closes properly. Also, DON'T forget to make the three slits on the top to let the steam escape. Otherwise, you'll have some soggy-bottom calzones.
Fresh: The spinach and green onion are the driving "fresh forces" to this recipe.
Overall: Be careful that your filling doesn't get too salty. The instructions say to add salt and pepper to the filling after the first five ingredients are blended. My firm ricotta was really salty and had enough sodium in it to flavor the filling (I only added pepper to it). I recommend tasting your filling before adding the salt! Finally, my calzones were done in 12 minutes (not the 15 it said in the recipe). So make sure you check them after 10 minutes.
I really liked this recipe. It definitely should be served with some red sauce or pizza sauce on the side. I suppose you can get a little less fancy with the cheese to save $$, but keep the spinach and green onion to give it a fresh kick.
Tomorrow we've got peas! See ya then!