Monday, 24 October 2011

Grape & feta calzone

3 stalks Rosemary, handful of pistachios, basil oil, feta, handful of
  spinach, cinnamon, sherry, grapes, 200g very strong white bread flour 
(grade 00), 1/4 tbs salt, 1/2 a sachet of yeast, 1/4 tsp honey, 1 tbs olive oil, 130ml warm water.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 1 hour

I can remember the first calzone I ate as a little girl; a thin crisp shell dusted with flour that released a cloud of fragrant steam when I hacked into it, followed by an ooze of cheese and tangy tomato sauce. This particular recipe was inspired by a filling Jamie Oliver made for a breakfast pastry which I knew would be enhanced, like anything, with cheese.

1) For a quick pizza dough: sift the flour and salt together and pour onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre and after dissolving the yeast, oil and honey in warm water, pour into the centre and mix with a fork until it is gradually combined. Dust your hands with flour and kneed until a smooth, elastic dough has formed. Set aside.

2) Finely chop the rosemary and "bruise" in a mortar and pestle with a handful of pistachios until the nuts are crushed. Season with salt and pepper and about half a teaspoon of cinnamon, then stir in a tablespoon of basil oil and a teaspoon of sherry.

3) Roughly chop a good handful of spinach and quarter a good handful of grapes (I used seedless flame red grapes). Stir in the rosemary "pesto" and set aside.

4) Roll out the pizza dough to about half a centimetre thickness and cut out circles of dough (I used about 8cm diametre circles). Roll the circles a little thinner and dust one side with flour.

5) Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto each circle, adding cubes of feta (I used a 25 year barrel aged feta - the stronger the better for this recipe!) and then fold in half, ensuring the filling is evenly distributed.

6) Pinch the edges of the dough until it is sealed like a cornish pasty and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

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