Get ready to fall in love with vegetables.
Spinach. Mushrooms. Onion. Garlic. Blue cheese. Crust. That’s all you'll find in this amazing melty marvel. No sauce. No sautéing. No seasoning. Yet surprisingly, this savory dish turned out to be one of the tastiest meals I’ve made so far.
I hate to admit it now, but when I first perused the recipe, I had my doubts. I thought for sure all that garlic and onion would be overpowering. That even Popeye couldn't handle all that spinach. And sadly, just the thought of a full serving of veggies without a blanket of sauce to hide under kinda spooked the picky five-year-old kid inside of me.
A few online reviewers shared the same fear. And what did they do? Those untrusting souls freaked out, sautéed everything first and dumped on sauce. Shame on them! All they did was waste time, cook away nutrients and drown these rich, perfect flavors in a bottle of blah!
But not me. I looked those naked vegetables straight in the eye…and fell in love. And not only because they were delicious, but also because this entire meal is such a cinch to whip up. Like throwing a salad into some dough, wrapping it up and baking it. For a measly 12 minutes. Want to fall in love, too?
First, mince the garlic and slice the onion. It's a lot of onion. Don't freak. Then, portion the refrigerated pizza crust into four rectangles and sprinkle with garlic.
Next, pile on those veggies. Lots of leafy spinach, thick slices of sweet Vidalia onion and handfuls of mushrooms. If it begins to majorly look like rabbit food, you're doing good.
And to save even more time, use pre-washed spinach and pre-sliced mushrooms. (I used regular mushrooms instead of button or cremini, but I'm betting those would be even tastier!)
Next, sprinkle on lots of crumbled blue cheese.
Once you've built yourself a mile-high mountain, carefully gather the corners, pinch to seal, throw those babies in the oven and you're done. (Disclaimer: Don’t prepare your calzones on top of your preheating oven or the dough will melt. Learned that last time.)
Twelve minutes later, you'll have dinner at the table. Unbelievable. You can't even have a greasy pizza delivered in that short amount of time, nevertheless something healthy and amazing.
And these SO beat pizza. As the onion and garlic cook, their juices mix with the melted blue cheese and make a sweet-tangy garlicky sauce. And the veggies are delicious and tender...and the crust is soft and crunchy...
And you, my bloggy friends, will be head-over-heels in love.
Spinach & Blue Cheese Calzones
Cooking Light, May 1999
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 calzone)
Cookbook Note: The combination of onions, mushrooms, and fresh spinach packs a serving of veggies into each of these easy, impressive calzones. We found that a pizza cutter works well for dividing the refrigerated dough into 4 equal portions.
1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups spinach leaves
8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 1/3 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms (note: I used regular, pre-sliced mushrooms)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
Preheat oven to 425°.
Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut into 4 quarters. Pat each quarter into a 6 x 5-inch rectangle. Sprinkle garlic evenly over rectangles. Top each rectangle with 1 cup spinach, 2 onion slices, 1/3 cup mushrooms, and 3 tablespoons cheese. Bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching all points together to seal. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden.
Nutritional Information: Calories: 297 (28% from fat), Fat: 9.1g (sat 4g,mono 3.2g,poly 1g), Protein:13.4g, Carbohydrate: 40.7g, Fiber: 5.1g, Cholesterol:16mg, Iron: 3.8mg, Sodium: 818mg, Calcium:180mg.