Monday, January 24, 2011

Cashew Ricotta Calzone

So I frequently do this thing where I have a zillion and one recipes in mind that I plan to make and then take a big huge trip to the grocery store to get all the goodies I need.  Finally after crossing every last thing off my list, shlupping all the groceries into the house and putting it all away, I find that I rarely end up using the ingredients for the original reason I bought them.  Everything always get put to good use, but then my list of "things to make" keeps growing longer and longer!  I definitely suffer from short term memory loss when it comes to recipes because there are always so many bouncing around in my brain. 

In my kitchen, I live by "waste not want not" because I really hate to throw anything out. I try my hardest to get everything used up before it goes bad, but sometimes you just can't plan for everything or predict any interferences.  Unfortunately, it always seems to be that poor eggplant that I had such great ideas for that just sits, and sits, and sits, and waits, and waits, and waits.  This time it was different was that freakin' pizza dough.  It wasn't so much that anything got in the way of me making something with it, but more so that I completely forgot I had it.  Surprise, surprise!

Once I saw the recipe for cashew ricotta in Veganomicon, I really, really wanted to try it out.  I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it (because there are so many options), but once I found that dough I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to make it!  And to use up some of those vegetables I had stocked up on.  I'm so glad I found that dough because this was a deeeelish and filling dinner.  You can really put any vegetables in that you like; be your own Calzone Connoisseur!  I just sauteed up some stuff I had on hand for the filling; onions, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, and broccoli and it really didn't take much time or effort at all.  But, the real all-star is definitely the cashew ricotta.  That's what this is really about!  If you've been wondering if you should make this let me be that one last push to get you to do it because it's definitely one, of the many, winning recipes from VCon.

The inside. Yum!

For the crust, I just used a whole wheat dough from Trader Joes and split it in half to make two calzones.  Preheat the oven to 350 and just spray some non-stick spray on a cookie sheet then flatten each half out.  You can spread the ricotta over the whole thing and put the veggies on one half or mix everything up then lay it on one half, whatever you prefer.  (I just happened to have already spread it out before it dawned on me to mix it together, but either way will work fine.)  Last but not least, fold the bare half over the top and pinch the sides shut.  ...Now, I know this probably isn't the most technical way to construct a calzone, but it gets the job done and I sure didn't have any complaints!  Once constructed, place it in the oven until it's golden brown (about 20 minutes) and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes before eating.  It even makes awesome left overs for work the next day.  I'd say we have a winner!

Cashew Ricotta:
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces (approximately 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves fresh or roasted garlic
  • 1 pound firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons salt
  • In a food processor, blend together the cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic until a thick creamy paste forms. 
  • Add the crumbled tofu to the food processor, working in two or more batches if necessary, until the mixture is thick and well blended. Blend in the basil and salt.
Source: Veganomicon

1 comment:

  1. I too used to buy eggplant with lots of good intentions and then would find it all wrinkly at the back of my fridge. Then one day at Trader Joe's I found their breaded eggplant for less than $3.00 a package and I become a fan! It is easy to cook and can be as fattening (fryed) or as good (baked) for you as you want!

    The calzone sounds great!


    Auntie Susan