September 09, 2002
Giant Calzones
posted by Carl

This is what happens when I decide to use what we have in the house already to make dinner. I had picked up four cute little eggplants at the vegetable store the other day and needed to use them before they started to get mushy. I was thinking about some sort of lasagna or pasta but Nadia vetoed that idea. What I ended up with was basically eggplant parmesan calzones.

According to the calzone recipe I found in How to Cook Everything, the amount of dough makes two calzones. The two calzones we ended up with were honestly as big as my stomach. It was inconceivable that we could each eat one of them, so we split one for dinner, split half of the other one for lunch the next day, and split the remaining half for Tuesdays dinner. We could have easily made four or even six calzones from the amount of dough that we had. In all fairness, the recipe does state that the two calzones will feed four people.

The dough is the same recipe as pizza dough so I won't include it here. However, I added a whole mess of pepper to the dough which elevated it to more than just a container for the filling.

Calzone dough:
1 recipe pizza dough plus 1 tbs fresh ground pepper.

4 small or 2 large eggplants
kosher salt
olive oil for frying

Slice the eggplants into 1/4 inch thick rounds and salt both sides generously with kosher salt. Lay the slices on a wire rack and let the salt do its magic for 1-2 hours, flipping the eggplant about halfway through. Press the now soggy slices between paper towels to extract even more water. By now the eggplants should be very floppy. In a pan, heat a good amount of oil (1/8 inch deep) over medium-high heat. Dredge the eggplant slices in flour, shake off any excess, and lay them into the hot oil. Cook the slices in batches until they are golden brown on each side then drain and cool on paper towels.

Cut the dough into 2-6 piceces depending on the number and size of calzones you want. On a floured surface, roll out the dough balls into 1/8-1/4 inch thick rounds. Put your filling in the middle of the dough, leaving 1-2 inches of the outer edge free of filling. For our calzones we we used a basic tomato sauce, the eggplants as prepared above, shredded mozzarella, and grated parmesan cheese. Brush a bit of water around the outer edge and fold one half of the dough across the other side to enclose the filling. Press the two edges together firmly and then make little twists every inch or so around the edge to seal it. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30-45 minutes or until the crust is a light brown.