When the kind folks at Pomi offered to send me some of their awesome tomato products to try out, I had to think of something awesome to make. I'm not huge on pasta and some of the other tomato dishes I thought of weren't exactly summer-friendly. But if there's one kind of combo Stephen and I can't get enough of no matter the season, it's bread and cheese. If there's sauce, too, well -- we're in heaven.
Note: At first, this recipe doesn't seem like a typical (never home)maker thing. Instead, it seems rather involved. I assure you, it's not as difficult and time consuming as it looks. It's also well worth the effort! The instructions you see below will yield for you two healthy stromboli (the "i" at the end of a word in Italian already means plural, right?).
Just keep your eye on the prize . . .
To make the pizza dough, follow the directions below. They're from a cookbook Xagave sent over with some agave syrup . . . and after making the stuff, I declare it a tie for my favorite pizza dough (the other is the pumpkin garlic knot dough that can be used for many purposes). The agave and olive oil make it incredibly light and tasty.
Then the Pomi tomatoes come into play. What I love about Pomi (which is an organic tomato brand straight from Italy) is that the tomatoes are just that: tomatoes. No added salt. No added ANYTHING. They taste fresh, too. And I'm a little weird about this, but I like best that you don’t need to worry about BPA contamination from containers or rust (from the cans of other tomato brands).
5 MINUTE TOMATO SAUCE
What you'll need . . .
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons tahini
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Method . . .
Heat the olive oil and cook the garlic until you can smell it (maybe 1 minute or so).
Add in the tomatoes, red pepper, and Italian seasoning and cook over high heat for two minutes, until bubbly.
Stir in the tahini and maple syrup. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then lower heat (or turn off if you're ready to use it).
Seriously, even though the combo of tahini and maple syrup sounds kind of weird -- it is delicious! And the Pomi tomatoes are amazing.
If you want to find Pomi, too, you can snag some at Vitacost and other online grocery stores. Oh, yeah. Pomi is also sold nationally in most natural/organic food stores, especially in many Whole Foods locations across the US.
Then you can make your kale/spinach/mushroom filling. There's really no exact measurements for this part. You can include any other veggies you like. We just LOVE kale. It's a power food. And cooking it BEFORE you put everything together is key to getting the moisture out (that would devastate the stromboli in the oven) and making it less difficult to chew.
What you'll need . . .
3 to 4 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1/3 cup sliced onions (we used leeks)
3 to 4 white mushrooms, sliced
Method . . .
Throw everything into a large pot. Cook until kale is soft, but not completely wilted.
Now for the fun part! Putting it all together and baking. Don't worry, you're almost done! You'll need some shredded mozzarella cheese, by the way. So, don't forget that. You may also wish to top the stromboli with sliced cheese (and sesame, poppy, or other seeds) when you're done. We used a couple slices of pepper jack.
First you'll want to preheat your oven to 415 degrees F. It's helpful if you use a pizza stone -- so preheat that, too, if you have one.
Then, divide your dough into two balls. Take 1 of your dough balls and roll it out into a large oval/rectangular shape on a work surface dusted with flour.
It's critically important to start with a layer of mozzarella on the bottom of what you're doing. You will layer half of the sauce mixture (about one cup) on top of the cheese -- laying down the mozzarella first will ensure no leaky, soggy stromboli.
Once you've laid the cheese and sauce, use half the kale mixture. Layer it on.
Then stretch the dough to get maximum folding power. Fold over one side all the way to the edge of the other side -- seal. Then fold over the top.
NOTE: There will be a lot of dough on the top, but for us -- that worked out wonderfully.
Then repeat this process with the other dough ball/ingredients. Or you may wish to save them for another night.
Make sure you either gently cut or tear a few holes in the top for the steam to escape. Otherwise, your stromboli may explode :)
Very carefully transfer your stromboli to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. You may notice the top starting to burn, cover with tin foil. Then rotate 90 degrees and bake for about another 10 minutes. Until the stromboli is golden brown (you can also test the done-ness of the dough).
If you'd like to cover yours with cheese -- take your stromboli out of the oven. Lay a couple slices of cheese on top. Then switch your oven to the broil setting. Broil until cheese is lightly browned.