Monday, April 23, 2012

Meatless Monday: Broccoli Calzones

It's been a while since I've done a Meatless Monday post. It's not because I ran out of recipes. The real reason is that, as silly as it sounds, I can never get good photos around dinnertime in the winter months. The days are just too short for natural light photography in the evening then. So, with the warmer weather, longer days, and the loveliness that is spring (my lilacs are starting to bloom!) comes the return of the Meatless Monday posts.

I thought a great way to bring it back would be with an old stand-by from our vegetarian days: broccoli calzones. I used to make these a lot, but I sort of stopped when my first child was nursing -- something about broccoli in my diet made him really gassy. So I just shelved the recipe and forgot about it. A couple weeks ago, I rediscovered it as I was organizing my recipes into a new binder. Soon after I found it, I made a batch of these for dinner and everyone in the family loved them. The old stand-by is definitely back in our dinner rotation!

The recipe for these calzones is adapted from yet another torn-out page of a magazine, this time from Everyday Food, probably from a 2004 or 2005 issue. I wish I could be more specific, but I can't tell from the ripped out pages. That's how I did things before Pinterest -- tore pages from magazines and stuck them in binders.

Anyway, on to the recipe!

Broccoli Calzones {Adapted from Everyday Food magazine}
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 package (around 10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. of pizza dough (You can use any recipe or the store-bought dough, but the recipe I use for dough is beyond easy and fast. More on that later.)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Prepared pasta sauce (For serving. Not required, but definitely recommended.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

When I made these calzones years ago, I always used store-bought pizza dough because I didn't want to take the time to make it myself.  Now I make my own dough whenever pizza dough is called for in a recipe. The recipe I use is simple and so fast -- click here for the details and recipe.  I just made one batch of my homemade dough and that was all that I needed for this recipe.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it gets soft, just a few minutes. Add the broccoli, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally for about five minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool.

Next, you want to divide your pizza dough into equal pieces and then stretch them (and roll them out, if necessary) into ovals. I divided this batch into four pieces and then stretched and rolled them out into 6"x8" ovals which made some pretty big calzones (one is big enough to feed a hungry adult; half was enough for me). You can make these calzones as big or small as you want to fit your family's needs and appetites. You could use the 6"x8" dimensions as a starting point and experiment from the there. It's pretty versatile.

Once the broccoli mixture has cooled a bit, stir the three cheeses into the mix. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.

On each round, scoop the filling on one half of the oval and spread it a little. The amount to put on each oval varies depending on how big you have made your ovals. For these calzones, I did about a 1/2 cup of filling on each oval.

Take the side without the filling and fold it over. Pinch the edges together to seal the calzone shut. Cut a slit or two on top of each calzone and transfer the calzones to a lined baking sheet.

Bake them for about 25 minutes until they are golden-brown.

Serve with a side of pasta sauce for dipping. Both of my boys skipped the forks and ate their calzone halves out of their hands. Or you can do what I do and smother the whole top of it with the spaghetti sauce. So filling and so delicious (plus it's a good serving of broccoli) -- you won't even miss the meat in this meal!

1 comment:

Gina said...

Spending some time this evening browsing your blog. Love the homemade vs. - blog posts!

I make homemade pepperoni hot pockets and wanted a recipe using broccoli. These look delish!

Thanks again for great posts!

I have a similar cooking style - on my blog

Except my kids are all grown- :( Not always happy about that as they both live away from home.

But still I love trying new things - soap making, homemade versions of storebought things - sewing, baking bread. You name it LOL.


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