Calzone di verdura – Swiss chard, mozzarella, pine nut and raisin calzone

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This vegetarian calzone recipe is packed with iron-rich chard, earthy pine nuts, sweet raisins and stringy mozzarella cheese to bring it all together. Making the pizza dough from scratch is deeply satisfying and easier than you might think.

First published in 2019

Calzone di verdura translates broadly to vegetable calzone, but this version is the one most commonly found in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. Earthy chard is balanced out with sweet raisins and the typically south Italian pine nut. Brought together with wonderfully stringy mozzarella, this is a must-try for vegetarians.

Use a pizza stone if you have one, but a pre-heated tray will also do just fine. Best eaten straight from the oven!




Pizza dough

  • 7g of dried yeast, (one sachet)
  • 25ml of olive oil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 250ml of water, lukewarm
  • 500g of strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt



Begin by making the dough. Place the yeast, oil and sugar in the water and stir. Leave for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate
Place the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Slowly pour the water in and use a fork to combine. Once the mixture comes together as a dough, tip out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes (or you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attached if you have one). The dough should be smooth and springy
Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a damp cloth. Leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour)
In the meantime, make the filling. Wash the chard and remove the leaves from the stems. Roughly chop the leaves and finely slice the stems. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Once foaming, add a pinch of chilli flakes, the raisins and pine nuts. Once the nuts have turned golden, add the chard and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine then take off the heat and leave to cool
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7 and place a large tray or pizza stone in there to heat up
Once the dough has proved, tip out onto a floured surface and punch the air out of it. Cut into two portions and roll out the dough into circles about 4mm thick
Place the filling onto one half of the dough, evenly spreading it out between the two pizzas. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and dot on top of the filling
Fold over the other half of the dough to create a semi-circle and, using your thumb and finger or a fork, crimp the edges to seal. Use a small knife to make two small air holes in the top of each calzone, which will prevent it from puffing up too much
Place in the oven on the hot tray or stone and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the calzones are nice and golden brown. Serve immediately

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