Wednesday, 25 January 2012

BBQ Challenge Week: Day 4: Mushroom, Ricotta and Prosciutto Calzone

I bought some large field mushrooms in the market at the weekend, thinking we'd perhaps marinade them and have them on toasted buns with some cheese. But I'm a bit under the weather at the moment so quite forgot to put the marinade on, and they were looking quite sad when I got home, so I knew they wouldn't last much longer in the fridge. Some friends at work were asking me today how I come up with my recipes, and this was a classic example. The thought process went somewhat along the lines of

juicy bbq'd mushrooms -- yum but plain -- inna bun? -- no time to cook buns -- besides I suck at making buns -- salad? -- hot mushrooms make leaves wilt -- what else do I have? -- ooh, ricotta! -- ricotta-stuffed mushrooms? -- what is this, the 70s? -- would go so well in cannelloni -- but I can't use the oven -- what can I put them in? -- pizza? -- they would go very dry -- calzone??

And at that point I felt I was on to something, so I switched the laptop on and googled for 'bbq calzone' recipes, as I'd never made one before, let alone made one on the barbie. I found this hilarious American youtube video where they make a calzone that would quintuple your risk of pancreatic cancer in a single mouthful. But it had great tips for the basic method, and after another foray into the fridge and storecupboard I was ready to get going. This is enough for two; we doubled it so we'd have lunch ready for another day. I'm sure you could use any fillings you like, but this is what we made.


  • Your favourite pizza dough
  • 4 large field mushrooms
  • 3 generous tbsp of tomato puree
  • 150g ricotta or mozzarella cheese
  • a small handful of parsley
  • a roasted red pepper, deskinned
  • 3 slices of prosciutto or spicy salami
  • salt n pepper n flour n olive oil

Let the dough rise up for 15-60  minutes after kneading - longer time will give you better flavour and airier crust. Meanwhile, grill or bbq the mushrooms until tender and juicy, then cut into fat slices. Finely chop the parsley and combine with the cheese, then season well with salt and pepper. Tear the red pepper into strips. Heat a pizza stone on your bbq - or get the flat plate hot but indirectly heated.

When ready, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface into a 30cm x 30cm square piece. Leaving an inch gap around the edge, spread the tomato puree evenly over the surface. On the half closest to you, lay the mushroom slices down, then the pepper strips, then the cheese mixture, and finally cover with slices of prosciutto. Fold the other half over the toppings toward you, then pinch closed around the edges,  making sure it's a good seal. Get a giant spatula, breadboard or plate, and flour well, then put the calzone on and transfer to an again well-floured pizza stone. Cook for 15 minutes on the first side, then 10 on the second, then leave for 10 minutes to rest. If you don't, you will end up with explosive hot sauces going everywhere, and the flavours will be too hot to taste properly. In the meantime you can make a nice salad to go alongside :)

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