January resolutions have renewed my commitment to serve my most difficult client more vegetables. She would prefer to eat nothing but mango, cheese, and croissants, but I feel that we can do better. Truthfully it has been slow-going (she has an impressive gag reflex that she has been using to great effect), but this week I scored a victory with these Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Goat Cheese Calzones.
Sweet potato, black beans and goat cheese may seem like strange bedfellows, but give them a chance. Seasoned with ground cumin, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne these calzones have a distinct Southwestern taste. The filling, when wrapped and then baked in a homemade pizza crust, makes a satisfying and healthy winter meal.
If you find yourself in a rush, purchase pre-made pizza dough (I suggest using whole wheat dough if available) to cut the prep time down for this dish. For best results, I use a baking stone for an extra crunchy bottom crust and great rise, but if you don’t have a baking stone then a regular baking sheet will work just fine. It wasn’t worth a return trip to the grocery store, but if you happen to have some fresh cilantro it would be a wonderful addition to the filling.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Calzones – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 4 calzones
If looking to get this on the table quickly, substitute store-bought whole wheat pizza dough for the homemade dough in the recipe.
For the dough:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil, more for brushing
For the filling:
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup cooked black beans (canned beans are fine, just rinse to remove excess sodium)
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground red “cayenne” pepper
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil, to taste
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, instant yeast, and the salt. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.
Turn the dough out on a well-floured counter and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Add more flour if the dough is too wet and add a little water if the dough is too dry. Dust the dough with flour and place in a clean bowl. Lightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Place a baking stone (if you have one) in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. For best results, preheat the oven and the baking stone for at least 45 minutes and preferably one hour before baking.
While the dough rises and the oven preheats, make the filling. Add the sweet potato slices to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for twenty minutes or until the sweet potato slices are tender. Drain the sweet potato and place in a large bowl. Smash the sweet potatoes with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Stir in the black beans, goat cheese, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust seasonings to your personal taste. Stir in the chopped cilantro if using.
Carefully divide the pizza dough into four equal pieces. Dust a clean countertop with cornmeal and flatten each round to form a disc. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a circle about 8-inches in diameter. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with a little flour. Repeat with the remaining dough balls making sure to flour the surface well before rolling. Divide the filling between the dough rounds stacking the ingredients on one half of the circle. Fold the dough over the ingredients and seal by rolling up the edges. Brush the tops of each calzone with the olive oil.
Transfer the calzones to the baking stone or a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the calzones from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy!