If it is true that March comes in like a lion, these calzones will have you roaring for more.
(ok, bad joke)
Seriously though, I had the idea to replace most, or in my case, all of the cheese in a calzone with some well-caramelized onions. True, my Lenten vegetarian diet allows for cheese, but I just wanted to see if the ooey-gooey goodness of caramelized onions could stand-in for the cheese.
I like the cheese-less caramelized onion calzones better than the cheese calzones I made for the boys. And I *love* cheese.
Something about the sweetness of the onions, mixed with a bit of marinara, more than adequately makes up for the usual ricotta. Doesn't it look good?
Now, here's a caveat: really good caramelized onions take some time to go from this:
But trust me, it is time well spent, and can easily be done on the weekend or in advance. You simply keep the heat low to medium, and stir them every few minutes. Once the bottom of the pan gets good and brown, throw in a splash of balsamic vinegar to deglaze and continue cooking until the vinegar is fully evaporated.
Once cooked, either use them immediately or refrigerate or freeze for future use. Note that about 4 cups of onions will yield about 3/4 cup caramelized onions.
Caramelized Onion Calzones
Pizza/Calzone Dough for 4 calzones
1 cup marinara
3/4 cups caramelized onions
ricotta cheese, seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out 1/4 of your dough in a circle. Repeat 3 times. Let dough rise under a towel while you prepare the filling.
Mix marinara and caramelized onions in a bowl. Place 1/4 of the mixture on half of each dough circle.
Top with preferred toppings (I used mushrooms, olives, and spinach). Fold other half of the dough on top of the toppings, and pinch the seams closed. Gently poke the top of the calzone with a fork. Brush the top with a bit of olive oil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown on top.
Makes 4 calzones.
(Note: when you seal the calzone, make sure there are no toppings between the top and bottom dough pieces when you pinch it closed. Toppings will make the two pieces of dough separate while baking).
Here's one last bonus with this recipe: no cheese = wayyyyy less fat and calories!