Monday, August 29, 2011
This was the last of the pizza-like things that can be done with pizza dough. It was also our least favorite, perhaps because it's got the least amount of browned, crispy crust among the four pizzoids tested. The filling was not at fault, since it had lots of flavor. In fact, part of the filling was left over from the piegata so it's identical to what went into that dish.
Since the dough is rolled into the center in a spiral, there's less browning going on. Where a calzone would have the outside browned, a piegata would have two sides browned, and a pizza would have one side (the bottom), this thing has lots of bread in the center where browning just isn't going to happen. So, more sponginess and less crunch.
This was almost an ovo-lacto vegetarian version of something that normally would be stuffed full of cured meats, saturated fats and sodium. A bit of uncured bacon did find its way into the mix, but simply as a subtle nuance. Not that I have anything against cured meats, fat or sodium; it's just that I happen to be out of most of them at the moment. I do have lots of peppers and tomatoes, thanks to the garden - so might as well take advantage of summer's offerings.
There were two fillings: the bell pepper/bacon/onion/garlic from the piegata, a tomato/onion/garlic/oregano filling made for these things, all with a blend of goat cheese and sheep pecorino romano. The coup de grâce was some fennel seeds sprinkled over the top and pressed into the dough. Those little seeds gave depth to the dish, yanking it back from the precipice of ordinary to create a more dynamic flavor profile.
Although I would hesitate to eat either a piegata or a calzone cold, I wouldn't have the same issues with a stromboli. This is really more a spiral-stuffed bread than anything, and does not remind me of pizza at all. So, I could imagine myself somewhere in an Italian olive orchard, a red and white checkered picnic blanket spread on the ground, a bottle of Chianti in the center, some cheese, some salami, a few oil-cured olives and some stromboli. Yes, definitely upscale picnic food. Ants optional.