Weekends mean Pizza around my house.
Only this time I switched things up a bit by making these Italian Calzones and filled them with a yummy Avocado Garlic Alioli.
Red Bell Peppers
Fresh Basil Leaves
All wrapped up in a toasty Calzone Pocket smothered in an Ailoli Sauce made from Fresh Garlic, Avocado, and Tofu.
Is that Ay-lee-oh-lee or Eye-oh-lee? Regardless of how you pronounce it – it’s good.
Think of it like a Garlic Mayonnaise – without all the eggs and oil. And it was just the right sauce to add to these yummy Calzones to give it all that amazing Italian Flavor.
Who says Pizza has to be boring!
For the veggie filling, I simply sautéed a diced Leek, a Red Bell Pepper, an 8oz container of Fresh Mushrooms, 12 Cherry Tomatoes, and a handful each of Fresh Spinach and Basil.
Let all that veggie goodness cook through until they’re nice and soft and then stir in a teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar to bring it all together.
The smell is heavenly! This will be sure and get people into the kitchen to see what’s cooking!
For the Calzone Dough I used my basic Pizza Crust, like the one I used in this Avocado Pesto Breadstick Recipe. And then I simply reduced the recipe down to a single dough ball.
So you’ll need some flour (I like King Arthur Bread Flour) but you can sub in some Whole Wheat. You’ll also need some Active Dry Yeast, Water, Sugar, and Salt.
That’s really all Pizza Dough is: Flour, Water, Yeast, and Salt.
You can sprinkle in a little Garlic Powder or Italian Seasoning if you want but that’s up to you.
Once you’re dough comes together, cover it with Saran Wrap and a Kitchen Towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Then simply scrape it out onto a well floured surface and work it until it’s not sticky anymore.
Avocado Garlic Alioli
The Sauce is the easy part – simply add all the ingredients to your blender and pulse until you got a rich, creamy sauce. Be sure and scrape down the sides every so often.
I used a 12oz tub of Tofu, 3 Tbl of Lemon Juice, 2-3 Garlic Cloves, a ripe Avocado, 2 tsp of Dijon Mustard, and a teaspoon of Yellow Miso. Add water by the tablespoon to get the consistency of mayonnaise and salt to taste.
Your dough should have risen nicely by now, so cut your dough ball into 8 even pieces.
Now roll out one of these until you have about a 6″ circle.
Slather a good helping of Alioli over the entire surface and then lay about 1 Tablespoon of the filling in the center. Fold the dough over to make a half-moon shape and pinch the edges to seal.
Traditionally you used an egg-wash to make the dough brown and crisp up. For this recipe I borrowed a trick I learned from Board and Knives and used a combination of water, corn starch, and molasses which worked very well.
Simply brush this mixture on top before baking and you’re all set.
Bake in a 450° F oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Mmmm, fresh Italian Calzones.
Change up your Pizza night and try these Italian Calzones. You won’t be sorry!
- 1 Leek (diced)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
- 8 oz Mushrooms
- 12 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 1 handful Fresh Spinach (stems removed)
- 1 handful Fresh Basil (stems removed)
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 12 oz Silken Tofu
- 3 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 3 Tbs Water
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Yellow Miso
- 1 Avocado
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 1 Tbs Sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 2-3 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder and/or Italian Seasoning (optional)
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 Tbls Corn Starch
- 1 tsp Molasses
- Prepare dough by adding sugar and yeast to warm water
- I found microwaving 1 cup of water for 50 sec is just the right temp
- Let sit for 10 minutes to allow yeast to bloom
- Using a stand mixer, add flour until rough dough ball is formed and dough pulls away from sides.
- Cover with Saran Wrap and Kitchen Towel for at least 15 minutes
- Prepare filling by sautéing leeks and pepper in pan with a little veggie broth
- Add mushrooms and cook until reduced in size
- Add basil and spinach and cook until wilted
- Stir in Balsamic and set aside
- Prepare Alioli by adding all ingredients to blender and blending until smooth
- Scrape down sides occasionally and add water as needed
- Scrape out dough onto well floured surface
- Using additional flour as needed to make a smooth ball
- Cut into 8 even pieces
- Roll out each piece into 6" circle
- Spread Alioli Sauce on thickly to cover entire surface of dough
- Spoon 1 Tablespoon of filling into center and fold dough up to seal into half moon shapes
- Pinch edges to seal and brush with eggless wash
- Lay onto parchment lined cookie sheet
- Bake in 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned
Use leftover Alioli Sauce or Marinara Sauce as a dip!