Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spinach-Cheese Calzone

Oh. Wow. This calzone has no business being anywhere near a blog with the word "skinny" in its name. It is a perfect dish to convince your skeptical friends that "meatless" does not mean "monotonous."

A giant Spinach-Cheese Calzone in all its gooey glory.

This savory creation is from Molly Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. The original recipe calls for 3 Tbs minced fresh basil in place of the black olives. I was out of basil, but had a can of olives on hand. The olives added a subtle richness, and a bit of texture. They also serve as a reminder that it's perfectly acceptable to use convenient ingredients, and that doing so does not diminish the end result. Not everything needs to be made from scratch all the time, and using unglamorous canned olives in place of their fancier cousins actually worked very well. In keeping with this novel idea that good food can be easy, I used pizza dough purchased in the bakery at my local market. Feel free to make your own dough if the spirit moves you.

  • 1 pkg pizza dough
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 lb spinach, stemmed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • generous amounts of black pepper
  • 4 or 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  1. Allow dough to rise in its wrapper for one hour.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and saute over medium heat until translucent ~ about 5 minutes.
  3. Add spinach, salt, and black pepper.  Cook, stirring, over high heat just until spinach wilts. Add garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  4. Combine cheeses and olives in a mixing bowl. Add the spinach saute and mix very well.Taste to correct seasonings.
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Punch down the dough. Divide into two sections and roll out on a floured surface into 1/4" thick circles.
  3. Place half the filling on one half of each circle, leaving a 1/2 inch rim. Moisten the rim with a bit of water (use your fingers), fold over the empty half and crimp the edges like a pie crust. A fork is useful for a good uniform crimp. Then poke a few holes in the top.
  4. Arrange the calzones on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
  5. Serve hot.
Notes:  Divide the dough into up to 6 circles to make individual calzones. Reheat in the oven. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep them from over-browning. Experiment with different fillings.


  1. I did it. Had to improvise with no flour (none of my neighbors had any either, and yes I did go door to door asking them!) they are half way cooked and look very interesting. I'm so excited!!!

  2. It's quite an honor to have my niece making my recipes. She sent me a photo, and they looked fabulous. :-)