If you have pizza dough on hand, it’s a snap to get an easy meal like this on the table on a weeknight. I recently found out how easy it is to make pizza dough and freeze it (here’s the recipe). I think frozen pizza dough works better for making calzones, because you don’t have to stress as much about rolling it out thinly or making a perfect circle (not that I stress about those things anyway).
Just remember to take the dough out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge overnight. I like to let it sit on the counter for at least an hour so that it will come to room temperature before working with it.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. On an oiled baking sheet, pat and stretch the dough out into an approximate circle. I think it’s easier to make one calzone for 2 or 3 people, but if you want to try making individual smaller ones, go for it.
Once the dough is stretched out to a good size, cover one-half of it with your chosen filling ingredients. For this calzone, I used chopped sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and shredded mozzarella. No sauce is necessary. I think it’s better to keep a light hand with the filling, because too many ingredients have a tendency to explode out of the calzone during baking.
Brush a little water around the edges of the dough. Fold the dough over the filling and crimp the edges together. Use a knife to make five slashes in the top to let the steam escape during cooking. Sprinkle the calzone with coarse salt and slide it into the oven. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden-brown.
While it’s cooking, you can make a simple marinara dipping sauce. Heat up a can of tomato sauce over medium-low and add some spices, such as garlic, oregano and hot red pepper flakes. Just let that bubble while the calzone bakes and serve it alongside in a small bowl.
I think sauteed kale makes a nice alternative to salad, especially in the cooler months. You can substitute other greens, such as chard or spinach, of course. I steamed the kale first, then sauteed it with some garlic and breadcrumbs. Here’s the recipe.
Kale with Garlic and Breadcrumbs
Time to make: ~20 minutes
Yields: 2-3 servings
- 1 bunch kale or other greens
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lg. clove garlic, minced
- Hot red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 tbsp. breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
- 2 tsp. capers
- Juice of ½ lemon
Wash the greens. Remove the stems and roughly tear the leaves. Steam with a small amount of water in a covered pan until wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove to a colander and let drain. (This step can be done ahead.)
Heat the garlic in the olive oil over medium until it starts to sizzle. Add the hot red pepper flakes and breadcrumbs, and stir until they turn brown. Add the capers and greens, and saute until the greens are warmed and coated with the breadcrumbs and garlic, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and squeeze the lemon juice over.