Recipe of the week: Spicy broccoli and ricotta calzones
After months of coming home to an air conditioner humming outside, it’s such a nice feeling to come home, open up the windows and turn on the oven instead.
I usually bake on the weekends, but weeknights are for roasting. Usually, it’s a sheet pan supper with sausage and vegetables or roasted vegetables tossed with pasta or served alongside rice or polenta, but this vegetarian recipe for calzones combines the best of baking and roasting.
Start by roasting a tray of vegetables — in this case, broccoli and scallions — while prepping the prepared pizza dough. (My favorite 12-hour all-purpose dough is perfect for this if you’d rather make your own. You can find it by searching “all-purpose dough” on austin360.com.)
Once the filling is ready, make little calzone pockets that bake in less than 30 minutes. If you don’t want to make individual calzones, “Dinner Just for Two” author Christina Lane suggests making this garlicky filling to serve with farfalle pasta, ricotta and lemon zest instead.
Spicy Broccoli and Ricotta Calzones
Most days of the week we lean toward vegetarianism in my house. My husband has a deep love for calzones that stems from a brief stint during his childhood when his dad owned a pizza shop. I created a calzone that consists of just roasted veggies and gooey, creamy cheese for him.
This recipe uses 1 pound of pizza dough to make three calzones. It’s perfect: one for each person, plus an extra one for lunch the next day. I don’t advise frozen broccoli here, as it won’t properly crisp in the oven. The best type of Parmesan for this recipe is the powdery ground Parmesan, not the shredded version.
— Christina Lane
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves, sliced in half
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for dough
Red pepper flakes, as much or as little as you like
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
For the calzones:
1/4 cup fresh ricotta
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped into 9 pieces
1 pound store-bought pizza dough
Marinara sauce, for serving
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Add the broccoli florets, whole scallions and garlic cloves to a large baking sheet. Pour the olive oil, red pepper flakes, Parmesan and a big pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper on top. Toss to combine. Spread the mixture evenly on the pan — don’t overcrowd the pan or the veggies will steam instead of roast.
Roast the veggies for 20 minutes, until they’re nicely golden brown. The ends of the scallions may be slightly burnt, but that’s OK. When the veggies are done, give the scallions and garlic a rough chop and combine with the broccoli. Set aside.
While the veggies roast, work with the pizza dough: Divide it into 3 even balls and, using a floured rolling pin, roll out into 3 circles about 6 to 7 inches in diameter.
Line the same baking sheet used for the veggies with a piece of parchment paper. Place the dough circles on the baking sheet. On one side of each dough circle, spread 1/3 of the ricotta, almost all the way to the edge.
Divide the roasted broccoli mixture on top of each dough circle and place 3 pieces of mozzarella into the mixture for each calzone. Gently fold over the dough on top of the broccoli mixture. Use a fork to press each calzone closed, and then brush liberally with olive oil.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the calzones are golden brown. Serve with small bowls of marinara for dipping.
— From “Dinner Just for Two” by Christina Lane (Countryman Press, $35)