Wednesday night, we decided to use the pizza dough and graffiti eggplant we already had in the fridge to make Deb Perelman’s Eggplant and Three Cheese Calzone. Tony describes what he did to make this dish.
Kim got this dinner started on Sunday, when she roasted the eggplant. She simply cut an (approximately) one pound eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices, laid the slices out on a couple of foil lined baking sheets, and drizzled the slices with oil. She baked the eggplant for about 15 minutes in a 425 degree oven and saved me a lot of time on Wednesday!
Making the filling was as simple as putting all the ingredients in a bowl – eggplant, (goat’s milk) ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan – and then sprinkling in some salt, pepper, and oregano, and mixing it all together. Even with grating the cheeses, this took very little time.
The next step was to roll out the dough. We had two balls of dough in the freezer that we planned to combine for this recipe. I took them out first thing in the morning so they would be defrosted by the time I was ready to make dinner. When I went to check on them after work, not only were they defrosted, but they had also risen a bit and fused together (they were in the same bag) into a sort of Frakendough. This worked out really well, as all I needed to do was knead the dough slightly and the two halves came together smoothly. I knew I were using a bit more dough than called for in the recipe, so I wasn’t surprised when I was able to roll the dough out into a circle a good bit bigger (maybe 14 or 15 inches across) than what is described in the recipe.
Rather than putting the filling in the middle of the dough and pulling the dough up over it so it met in the middle, I made more of a traditional half-moon shaped calzone. I simply put the filling in the middle of the dough and pulled up one edge of the dough over the filling until it met the other edge. As I did this, I smushed the filling down and around under the dough so that it would be evenly distributed and then crimped the two edges together. I used to skip the egg-wash step on most recipes, but I’ve learned that it really does make things look pretty so I did it this time; I was really glad I did!
The calzone went into the oven and I started on the dipping sauce. I mixed the crushed tomatoes, salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes together in a small saucepan (I skipped the optional sugar and red wine vinegar) and just heated everything through.
After about 20 minutes in the oven, the calzone came out. It was pretty enormous – easily enough for four servings – and a beautiful golden brown. The three cheeses came together really well and the eggplant was a nice touch. We have a busy week ahead of us and we are very glad to have leftovers from this dish!