Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Calzones

There is something so comforting about a calzone, hot little pocket of savory wonderfulness! I picked up a couple Japanese eggplants over the weekend at Mitsua, and made this in an effort to use them while still fresh. Pleased with how they turned out, I will definitely make them again---and am excited about endless variations! I think a cheese of some sort is a must, it sort of binds everything together. But then again, I bet a curry filling would work too...

2-3 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/4" slices
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 oz goat cheese
2 slices chopped bacon or pancetta
1 recipe fantastic pizza dough (or buy it ready-to-go)

After you've mixed up the dough, and while it's in the 20-minute rest phase:

Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and grill until lightly browned. Note: when I made this, it was rainy and nasty outside and therefore using the "real" grill was beyond hope. I used a non-stick grill pan on the stovetop instead. Worked great.

Brown the bacon/pancetta (add a little olive oil if you need to), then add onion and garlic. Cook until softened.

Combine the bacon/onion/garlic mixture, eggplant, and goat cheese in a bowl. Mix so that the goat cheese is thoroughly distributed.

Divide dough into 8 pieces (cut the ball of dough in half... then in half again... then in half again... etc etc). Roll into circles about 6" in diameter. Place a couple tablespoons of the filling on each (evenly distribute the filling among the eight dough circles).

Fold each dough circle in half over the filling, so that it becomes a half-moon shape. Then, with your fingers, roll the bottom edge of the circle over the top edge to seal--or just press edges together. The idea is to seal it up like a big pocket, however you want to achieve it is up to you.

To bake, I usually use a pizza stone but a regular baking sheet is fine. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.