Friday, 15 January 2016

Provençal Pizza Pockets!

Calzone alla Provenzale, con Melanzane, Peperone, Pomodori, Pancetta, Olive, Capperi & Camembert
Calzone "Provençale" with Eggplant, Bacon, Pepper, Tomatoes, Olives, Capers & Camembert

Pizza is Italian- this is true, but it is also versatile- which is truer still! Otherwise- what on earth are all of those concoctions that "pizzerias" everywhere else in the world offer? With the strangest of toppings indeed!

Compared to many then, this incredibly tasty calzone may seem a little boring or nondescript... but let me tell you, flavored with lots of herbs de provence and finished with camembert cheese rather than mozzarella or parmesan... this little "French" twist was a treat indeed!

So plain and innocent looking on the outside- but these calzones hold a rich filling packed with Mediterranean fare, no nonsense and plenty of goodness! And so "pick me up and bite me!" fun to eat too!

To make 2 small calzones, I needed 1 roll of pizza dough, 1 small eggplant, 1/2 of a large, red bell pepper, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, 5-6 black olives, a good handful of finely chopped bacon, 1 tablespoon of capers, 1 tablespoon of herbs de provence, 1 tablespoon of tomato purée, a little fresh parsley and 1/2 of a camembert cheese. Otherwise, a little salt, pepper and olive oil of course... and my trusty frying pan to get the best results!

These were super-delicious piping hot... but now that I look at them again, I can't help thinking what an amazing lunch they would make to take to work... now there's an idea for you!

Step one is to start the bacon sizzling and then add the relatively thinly sliced eggplant and fry together for 2-3 minutes. Then add a splash of water to the frying pan and pop on the lid for the eggplant to steam for a minute or two. Finally, remove the lid, let the last hint of moisture evaporate away and the eggplant begin to brown slightly and then set to one side to cool- this will be plenty to give the eggplant a head-start and be pre-cooked and flavored with the bacon- of course it will finish cooking in the oven- and this way- you don't have any excessive oil or fat which is great!

Finely dice the pepper and the tomatoes and fry them in a little olive oil until they begin to soften, then add a good pinch of fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon of tomato purée, salt and pepper, a dash of water and continue cooking for 5 minutes until you have a simple but flavorful tomato sauce.

Using a saucer as a template, cut 2 circles of dough and lay out the eggplant and bacon first- these will keep the tomato sauce from seeping through the base of the pizza, so that it doesn't become soggy.

Next, spoon on the tomato and pepper sauce and sprinkle generously with herbs de Provençe.

Now add the olives and capers- and try not to salivate too much whilst you are doing so... how wonderful does that look!!?!

Top with camembert cheese, turn on your oven to the highest setting to get it ready- and get ready to seal up those little pizza parcels!

Fold the circles shut and then either press the edges together firmly with your fingers, use a fork to seal them, or pinch and fold all the way around the outside edge the old fashioned way... like I did! 

Place the sealed calzones onto a non-stick pan and let them cook on the stove top for 3-4 minutes until the base becomes firm and easily slides from the surface of the pan- then pop the pan into the oven at at least 120°C or higher if your oven allows it, for 15 minutes until it is lightly brown, then brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and finish baking for 5-10 minutes more until it is a deep, golden brown.

It is pointless me trying to describe the incredible aroma of those herbs when you fetch the piping-hot calzones out of the oven... but all I can say is that it is out of this world!

So as you can see- these are great ingredients and familiar flavors and although it is a little bit different to what you may be used to- I feel sure you will enjoy it! For sure it has become a new favorite of mine! 

1 comment:

  1. Das sieht wie immer sehr appetitlich aus.
    Herzliche Grüße, Dinkelhexe Renate