Thursday, April 3, 2008

Inside-Out Pizza (aka Calzone)

I was running errands last week, the final of which was a trip to Trader Joe's and I decided to pick up a ready-made pizza dough to give me a head start on dinner. You can make your own, I usually do, but in a pinch, or if you "don't bake" theirs is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

I served it with a quick marinara (recipe follows) and a cesar salad using lettuce from our CSA basket and the dressing recipe from Veganomicon. I am going to play with that recipe. It is reallllly garlicky, and I used the lower end of the recommended number of cloves. I also doubled the lemon juice and added a touch of nutritional yeast. However, the garlic was still overpowering for me. I love garlic, but in this it was all I tasted and I was looking for more balanced flavor. I think I'm going to try making it with roasted garlic next time and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.

I made the filling while the dough rested on the counter for the proscribed 20 (okay 40) minutes. And the marinara sauce was thrown together while the calzone was in the oven.

Inside-Out Pizza

1 lb whole wheat pizza dough, divided in half
8 oz firm water-packed tofu, drained
1-2 tbsp light miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp italian seasoning mix
2 tsp olive oil
1 vegan italian sausage (I used one of Julie's which I had left over), chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 red onion, chopped
2 handfuls each fresh arugula and baby spinach
3 tsps minced basil (shhh - I used the frozen cubes from TJ's because I forgot to pick up fresh)
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat pizza stone in oven to 475.
In a medium bowl smush up tofu with your hands. (A lot of vegan ricotta recipes I've seen call for making it in a food processor, but I find that to be much too smooth. Ricotta is a curd and is not totally smooth) You are looking for a crumbly texture with no big chunks. Take the miso and smush it into a bit of the tofu with a fork to loosen it up, then stir into the whole bowl. Add nutritional yeast and italian seasoning and stir to combine.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add onion and stir to coat. Cook 3 minutes until it softened and add garlic, cook 1 minute more. Add chopped sausage and heat through (1-2 minutes). Add arugula and spinach and cook, stirring, until it is totally wilted. Add basil and stir to combine. Remove from heat and pour entire contents of skillet into bowl of tofu and stir until evenly combined.
Roll out/stretch dough on a lighly floured surface into as large a round as the dough will allow without being too thin or developing holes. You want it sturdy enough that you can move it to the oven with out ripping it. Divide filling evenly between circles (I had some left over, but I could have used it all, so I'm adjusting for that now). Arrange filling on half of each circle, leaving a 1/4 inch of space all along the edge. Brush the edge on the half with filling lightly with soymilk (I'm not gonna lie - I used my fingers) and fold the empty half over the filled half, bringing edges together. With a fork crimp the edges all the way around the half moon. At this point I lightly brushed the top edge with soymilk and rolled the edge up and pinched it (I really didn't want that filling getting out!!!) but that step is probably not necessary.
Brush the tops with olive oil and gently cut 3 vents on top of each. Place onto stone in oven (carefully! very hot!)and bake 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown and delicious and look like this:

Meanwhile make the sauce.

Marinara Sauce for Dipping
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp italian seasoning mix
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup drinkable red wine
15 oz crushed tomatoes (or the remains of a non-descript bottle of marina sauce)
2 tbsp minced basil (again with the frozen...)

In the same pan you made the filling in (yay - less dishes!) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook 3 minutes until softened. Add italian seasoning, a pinch of salt and fresh pepper and allow to saute for 30 seconds. Stir to coat onion and garlic in seasoning and then add wine. Simmer until almost dry then add tomatoes. Stir to incorporate everything and let simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to combine and reduce slightly.

When your calzones are ready pull them out of the oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes while you plate everything else. Cut in half (trust me - you will scald your your pretty little mouth if you don't!), plate and serve. Yum!

B ate his entire calzone but I could only finish half of mine. So if you have 2 very hungry people this serves two. If those you feed have slightly smaller appetites, or you serve it with another side dish in addition to salad, it will serve 4. I had mine for lunch the next day, the bread had softened up (I only have a microwave at work) but it was delicious anyway.


Anonymous said...

YUM!!! That looks so goooood. I can't remember the last time I had a calzone.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I love your blog name, that part in My Big Fat Greek Wedding is so funny!

Lily Girl said...

Thanks! It was yummy. And that line has become the running joke in my family since I became (mostly) vegan. Plus I looove that movie.