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Well, we are officially in the Lenten season and I know I am trying to find some new menu items for “No Meat” Fridays.
I know we all start out with our list of tried and true no meat meals and then we get stuck trying to think of something different to serve.
I don’t usually have trouble with dinner because it is usually some veggie and bean stew, a soup, a portion of pasta with fresh tomato sauce or a pesto sauce, pasta with a veggie, shrimp, or clams, or simply grilled fish.
It’s the lunch items that are a challenge, especially if you have limited time to prepare a meal and eat.
When I was a child, my mother and grandmother used to make a traditional Neapolitan “Escarole Pie” during Lent which was escarole, kalamata olives, anchovies, roasted pine nuts, raisins, capers, and either shaved pecorino or mozzarella cheese or both.
A top and bottom layered veggie pie in a buttery crust. I know the anchovies frighten some people but the meal does not taste fishy– it’s absolutely delicious.
Well, I decided to take all the ingredients of an escarole pie and make it a stromboli– a little easier in case you want to pack it to go.
So I made pizza dough with “Fleischmann’s instant pizza crust yeast” (truly a lifesaver because of no rising time) or you can get a ball of dough from the grocery store or pizzeria and you are on your way to stromboli.
So here is my recipe and I hope you give it a try. If you don’t care for escarole you can substitute Kale (removing the large stems and only using the leaves) or Spinach – (just make sure you use 3X the amount of spinach because it really wilts to nothing).
- 1 large head of escarole (approx. 1 lb. or more), washed WELL and cut in sections.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced
- ½ cup of pitted kalamata olives, rough chopped
- ½ cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained.
- 1-2 tbsp of capers, rinsed and chopped
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/8 tsp of Calabrian chili paste (Optional)
- 1/2 cup grated Locatelli cheese
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 1 egg beaten with a tsp of water for egg wash for the top of the stromboli
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- Sesame seeds for the top of the stromboli (Optional)
For the homemade dough: follow package directions …
- Pizza crust yeast
- Olive oil
- AP flour
- Warm water
To clean the escarole
- Trim off the root end and discard any discolored leaves. Cut the escarole into 3-4 sections.
- Put the escarole in a large bowl with 1 tbsp of baking soda and cold water. Swirl the leaves around. The dirt will sink to the bottom.
- Scoop out the cleaned escarole and into a strainer. Rinse well under cold water and let the escarole sit to drain while you boil water in a large pot.
- ADD the escarole to the rapidly boiling water and when it comes to a full boil again, let the escarole cook for 2 minutes
- Drain the escarole well and when cool enough to handle, squeeze dry. (This will prevent a soggy stromboli and also prevent splashing when the escarole leaves hit the oil to be sauteed). You can also use a salad spinner.
- Rough chop and set aside
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until it starts to turn golden. ADD the garlic & Calabrian chili paste and sauté for 1 more minute.
ADD 1 tbsp tomato paste to the center of the skillet and toast it for 1 minute and then mix the onions, garlic, chili paste, and tomato paste together well.
ADD the escarole and stir to coat with the oil and sauté until the escarole cooks down for about 5 minutes.
ADD the anchovies, pine nuts, capers, and olives and saute for an additional 5 minutes stirring occasionally and making sure the anchovies melt into the olive oil. After 5 minutes, remove to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, ADD the raisins, grated Locatelli cheese, and mozzarella cheese and mix well….
Prepare your dough…… I used Fleischmann’s instant pizza crust yeast (no rising time). Follow package directions OR purchase dough from the grocery store or pizzeria.
On a lightly floured board, knead the dough into a smooth ball and flatten.
Roll out your pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper the size to fit your sheet pan. ADD a thin layer of breadcrumbs to the dough to absorb any remaining liquid so you don’t have soggy stromboli.
Layout the escarole filling (using a slotted spoon to avoid adding any liquid collected on the bottom of the bowl) across the dough from left to right, leaving some room on the edges.
Slightly fold over the left and ride side toward the center (burrito style) and then bring the long ends over, pinching closed.
Place seam side down and place the stromboli and parchment paper onto the sheet pan. Cut three slits on top of the dough and brush with egg wash.
Now it is ready for the oven. If you are using sesame seeds add them now.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Slightly cool before serving. Can be served at room temperature. Enjoy
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it.
I made a new category for Lenten Meals and I will be adding new recipes for the entire season of Lent.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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