whole wheat calzones with parsley mint pesto, provolone and mozzarella

by Stevie on June 20, 2011

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I used to make this recipe from Mollie Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest all the time about twenty years ago. The book was new then, and I was new in the kitchen. It seemed terribly ambitious and impressive. I was always so pleased with myself!

whole wheat calzones with parsley mint pesto, provolone and mozzarella

whole wheat calzones with parsley mint pesto, provolone and mozzarella

It’s funny how I feel now, preparing this after such a long hiatus. The recipe seems kind of easy now. I really like the filling, which I’ve modified here. Mollie suggests basil pesto with ricotta or provolone and tomato. Hegui doesn’t care for ricotta, and we have a superabundance of parsley and mint from our community garden. I’m not that sure about the dough.

I followed the original recipe here to the letter. And in fact, it is exactly how I remember it from the late 1980’s. The thing is, it is a bit tough: tough to kneed and hard in the mouth. Somehow I long for a more fluffy, foccacia-like crust. Plus, more often than not, my calzones burst open while baking. It always makes a mess! Whether this is due to the recipe or my modest skills, I don’t know. This does not alter the delightful flavor in any way. Nevertheless, I believe they’re supposed to stay closed. Perhaps I should use less filling?

Well, I have to say that the dough absorbs the olive oil marvelously well. I had a leftover calzone for lunch a few days later, soaked through with oil and pesto, and it was truly sublime.

whole wheat calzones with parsley mint pesto, provolone and mozzarella

For the dough:

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup corn meal
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
½ packet dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
Olive oil

For the filling:

1 clove garlic
1 large punch parsley
2 sprigs mint, leaves only
¼ to ½ cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp salt
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup parmesan
3 Roma tomatoes, in slices
1/3 cup provolone, shredded
1/3 cup mozzarella, shredded

To prepare dough:

Mix sugar, water and yeast in a bowl and stir. Let rest about five to ten minutes. In another bowl, blend flours, corn meal and salt together. Gradually work into liquid until forms a thick dough.

Pour onto counter and kneed about five minutes. Shape into a ball.

Pour some olive oil into a large bowl. Roll dough ball in oil, cover and let rise about 90 minutes in a warm place.

stuffing the clazone

stuffing the clazone


folding calzone closed, crimping the edges and piercing holes on top

folding calzone closed, crimping the edges and piercing holes on top

To prepare filling:

In a food processor, blend garlic, parsley, mint leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper until it forms a paste. Add more olive oil if too thick. Process in walnuts then parmesan. Set aside.

To assemble calzones:

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Press dough into a round disk and cut into six equal pieces. Roll each into a ball. Flatten each smaller ball by hand then with a rolling pin to about ¼ inch thickness.

Fill with some parsley mint pesto, some of the two cheeses and top with two tomato slices. Pull one end of dough over filling onto edge of other. Press edges closed with the blunt end of a fork or spoon. Mollie writes that the finished calzones look like UFOs, which is sort of true. Pierce with a fork to allow steam to escape and avoid unwanted oven explosions.

Place each on a baking tray. When all calzones are formed, bake about 20 minutes until crust is firm and golden brown. Let cool about 15 or 20 minutes then enjoy with leafy salad and red wine, of course.

welcome summer!

welcome, Summer!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Su June 20, 2011 at 1:08 am

I just love these calzones, very well done ;)
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Raquel@Erecipe Free Nutrtional Calculator June 20, 2011 at 5:22 am

I love the dough, actually in this kind of recipe I always look for a perfect dough I love making one. I used to make empanada. I will definitely try this calzones.

Anna June 20, 2011 at 5:44 am

i know it’s 8:42 a.m. but i just ran and really want to eat that right now. looks so good – love that it’s whole wheat. so tricky to work with! i wish i understood it! i have one whole wheat pie crust i use but other than that, i’m kind of terrified of it’s stickiness!!
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Karen June 20, 2011 at 9:42 am

I also have one of those ancient Mollie Katzen books, and every now and then I take a nostalgic look through it – I still love it! Your calzones are making my stomach growl… :-)

Jackie (Phamfatale.com) June 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Love calzones. They taste great and they’re not as messy as regular pizza. :D
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Heavenly Housewife June 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Its been ages since i’ve had a calazone, what an awesome recipe, I totally want to try this!
*kisses* HH
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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors June 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Oh yea….the all forgottten calzone rendered in such a delightful fashion. Thank you for bringing back a long lost yummy and doing so with wonderful fresh summer flavors.

I want to get baking, now!

chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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Eron June 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Yum! I’m a fan of freezing dough for projects like this — thanks for the idea! I also appreciate the reminder that pesto can be made from lots of herbs, not just basil.
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Nina June 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Stevie, your calzone looks wonderful! Haven’t had one in forever! I would love to try this with the ricotta. Your summer photo is perfect for today….hope it’s off to a great start for you guys! Cheers.
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Magic of Spice June 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Wow this is delightful…love the filling and really love the pesto :)
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LeQuan June 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

Calzones used to be one of my favorite childhood lunches. I think it’s fine that your filling was bursting out. I’d much prefer more filling than not enough. I think you did a great job. These sound delicious.
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