Whole Wheat Swiss Chard and Carrot Calzones
Yields: about 4 -6 calzones
Prep Time: 45 min
Total Time: 2.5 hours (includes rising time)
A super easy dough, and packed with vegetables, these calzones are loaded with vitamins A, C and K. Similar in taste to pizza, these little gems have all of the goodness right inside its own pocket!
For the dough:
¾ cup lukewarm water (around 100 degrees F)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour (plus some extra flour for rolling out the dough)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a little extra for oiling the dough and bowl)
For the sauce:
2 cups strained tomatoes (pureed, no chunks, unless it is desired)
1/4 cup finely minced yellow or white onion
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup finely shredded Swiss chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups shredded cheese (such as Provolone, mozzarella and Parmesan)
Melted butter and cheese topping (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
Handful of shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1. Mix yeast, water and sugar in a bowl, and let sit about 5 minutes, or until yeast is bubbly. Add olive oil to yeast mixture.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, and salt. Slowly incorporate wet ingredients. Knead for about 5 minutes. If dough is sticky, add additional flour (white or wheat) 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. When the kneading is complete, coat bowl and ball of dough lightly with olive oil. Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with a towel, and let sit in a warm place for 60-90 minutes to let rise.
5. While the dough is rising, thinly dice Swiss chard and onions, finely chop garlic and shred carrots on smallest side of grater (cheese grater works well). Sauté oil, Swiss chard, onions, carrots and garlic. Add strained tomatoes, cane sugar, oregano, basil, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Bring sauce to a boil for 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat, and let sit until ready to assemble calzones.
6. After an hour, knead dough another 1-3 minutes, then divide dough into 4 (or 6 if you’re doing smaller) equal pieces. Dough is then ready to roll out. Lightly flour space for rolling out dough (I prefer to use white flour for this as it is a little less dense, and doesn’t cake on as much). Transfer the dough to a parchment paper or silicone lined mat before starting to assemble.
7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Starting the process for each calzone, roll out the individual section to about 1/8 to 1/4-inch-thick in a circular(ish) shape.
9. Spoon out sauce onto rolled out dough and using a basting brush (or back of a spoon), brush on sauce (about 1/4 cup or so) to one half of the dough. Add 1/4 cup of cheese mixture (a little less if making 5 or 6 calzones).
10. Fold dough at the midpoint of the circle (with the sauce and cheese side still on the parchment paper). Match edges of dough and gently fold over and pinch as show in the picture below. It is important to ensure the dough seals in the mixture well, or it will leak out.
11. Poke holes in the top of the calzone with a fork to let the steam out (or else it could burst in the oven).
12. If desired, brush on melted butter and seasoning, and sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of Parmesan cheese.
13. Repeat the process (steps 8-12) until all calzones are ready to cook.
14. Bake at 425 for 12-14 minutes. Let cool, and enjoy!
These are a favorite in our house. The first time I made them, I only used whole wheat flour. They were good, but the swapping out half of it for all purpose flour really makes the crust a little less heavy. A little butter, seasoning, and cheese on top is optional. I just found it added an extra zest of flavor and looked more complete aesthetically. Although, no one really looked at these little pockets before diving in.
Our garden is overloaded with Swiss chard, so this was a no-brainer for me. Plus, I like to switch up our greens from always having spinach and kale. The carrot adds a little natural sweetness along with the yellow onion, to round out the tanginess of the tomato sauce. Equally, mushrooms would be delicious, or even chopped black olives, which aren’t in this recipe, but could always be added.
Truly, the options are limitless! I had to include a picture of our youngest helping out. She tore into the leftover sauce as well, which was fine by me. The sauce was full of veggies, which lately, she has grown quite picky about consuming.
I do want to note, the sauce recipe does make a little extra, depending on how much you can stuff in the calzone. The first time I made it, we had about a quarter of a cup leftover. Another time, we just had a spatula scrape. So, it really seems to vary despite my measuring. The sauce may cook down a little more or I may have stuffed a little extra sauce in a calzone. Either way, it’s easy to just save a little bit for an English muffin pizza, pita pizza or even noodles, later in the week. If freezing for future meals, let cool completely first, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Additionally, I make these pretty large and write the recipe up as making 4 calzones, which we end up splitting. Depending on how much the dough rises, and how much elasticity you have in the dough, you may get 1 or 2 extra calzones if you simply make them smaller. If you choose to do so, decrease the amount of sauce and cheese so it’s proportional and you can still close up the calzone dough prior to baking.
*This post was originally published July 5, 2015, and has since been updated to reflect the current date, June 29, 2017.