caramelized onion, garlicy kale, fresh mozzarella: calzone

by Chen

It’s an outside-in pizza. It’s a savory hand-pie. It’s a homemade hot-pocket. It’s a calzone.

I was inspired by a post from The Kitchn and a friend who wanted to save his time for studying rather than cooking. Calzone is exactly THE type of food for busy (and lazy) people:

1. Cook once for a long-term benefit. Depending on how large they are made, 1 lb store-bought pizza dough usually yields 6 to 8 individual servings. This means that you will have a considerable amount of leftovers for several days. The prepared calzones can be frozen either before baking or after being thoroughly cooked then cooled. The latter is even more convenient since it can be reheated in the microwave, which makes a great lunch too.

2. Simple yet wholesome. Prepare some fillings with both vegetables and proteins, roll out the dough, stuff, fold, seal, and bake. That’s it! You’ve got everything for a healthy meal in a pocket and more standing by in the refrigerator.

3. Yum.

calzone with onion, kale and mozzarella
Makes 8 6-inch calzones (adjust the size if needed)

1 lb store-bought whole wheat pizza dough
flour for the working surface

2 tsp olive oil, plus more for brushing the top
1 onion, thinly sliced
6 oz kale, leaves only, torn into pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
1/2 cup marinara sauce, or pasta sauce of your choice
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with lightly greased foil.

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a saute pan over low heat. Add the onion to the pan with a pinch of salt. Cook and stir occasionally until well caramelized. This may take at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you don’t have that much time (and patience), set the heat on medium-high and saute the onion until tender.

When the onion is done, transfer to a plate and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add kale and garlic. Stir fry until the leaves are wilted. Adding a little bit liquid (water, stock, etc) will help them to cook down. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and let the kale mixture to cool.

Turn the pizza dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each portion into a 6-inch disk (it doesn’t have to be perfect since the shape can be adjusted afterwards). Spread 1 tbsp marinara sauce on half of each disk, then top each with kale, onion, and mozzarella, leaving 1/2 inch from the edge. Fold the half without toppings over and fold the bottom edge above the top edge and press to seal. Brush the top with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes until the calzones are puffed up and golden brown. Serve hot.

more stuffing ideas I would like to try

mushroom, onion, Swiss cheese

ham/turkey, spinach, provolone

mashed peas, honey & mustard seasoned ricotta

chicken, Alfredo sauce, blanched broccoli

olive, roasted pepper, feta

bacon, arugula, roasted tomato

sausage, leafy greens, Parmesan cheese

scrambled eggs, green onion, cheddar

and infinitely many combinations…