Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Old Favorite: Edited Version

When I was growing up, my mom used to make spinach pizza, which was just as it sounds -- pizza with spinach on it, among other things -- and very good. Living in constant pursuit of a higher culinary goal, my dad eventually took over the preparation of this delicacy, with a bit of a twist. He made it calzone-style. Daddy's spinach calzones are what we in our family call "Slap-Your-Mama" good! (No disrespect to mamas, especially since I'm one, and Scripture commands us to honor them.)

After I was married and living 3000 miles from my parents' kitchen, I made it a priority to learn to make spinach calzones (which we still call spinach pizza when we're with my parents, but calzones with friends who have been introduced to my version). In the early years, I would buy a box of Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix for the dough, but in recent years I've used my own fresh wheat dough.

For the crust, I eliminate the second dough rising, roll it out onto a large rectangular baking sheet (lightly oiled if it isn't non-stick), poke it with a fork a few times, and fill one long half with yummy goodies:

(Pardon the steam in this photo of the sauteéd vegetables. I don't know how to omit that with my camera.)

For the vegetable mixture, I use chopped spinach (frozen packages save time, but I prefer fresh), red onion, several garlic cloves, and bell pepper. I meant to add zucchini when I made this last night, but I forgot. You can add anything, really. I made one meatless calzone and included artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes.

Whatever you have to sauteé, do it while the dough is rising and let it cool just slightly before putting it onto the rolled-out dough. Be sure and add some fresh Italian herbs, as well as some salt and pepper.

As time goes on, I am less and less inclined to eat sausage. However, I did buy chouriço for one of last night's calzones, to please the men in my family. I ended up sampling both versions, and the chouriço was quite tasty. Caelyn was very kind to remove the casing. I do have my limits. In the States, we use sandwich pepperoni from the deli, and sometimes I add sliced ham.

Before closing the dough, be sure and add some cheese. I use any combination of mozzarella, provolone, Romano, Parmesan, and feta. Fold the other side of the dough over, pinch the edges closed, and bake on 350 for about 25 minutes. It should be golden-brown, like this:

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the slapping of any family member once you've experienced the savory delicacy that is Spinach Pizza (calzone-style). Enjoy!


  1. This looks so good! The only thing I have to do to make it gluten free is not roll it up! Saturdays is usually our dinner of salad and a couple of gluten free pizzas usually one veggie, one regular (sauce & cheese) or one steak and mushroom with spinach and peppers. (my favorite!) Sara made chicken enchiladas last night with a friend for our dinner...Ron kept saying they tasted just like a mexican resteraunt! I love daughters who cook!

  2. Oh, you know we will be trying this! Looks so good.

  3. Sue, it is a blessing to have daughters who cook! You're so right. The steak version of the pizza sounds wonderful -- it's making me miss a cheesesteak ('burgh style, rather than Philly).

    Cristie, have I never made this for you guys? Shame!

  4. mozzarella, feta and spinach... sounds like heaven! I think you've just inspired me for tonights meal.

  5. Oh would love to have your recipe for this. I found out I'm diabetic and wheat pizza dough would be so much better for me than regular... My husband and I love calzones Jude