Asparagus, Pistachio Pesto and Ricotta Gozleme.
To clarify, this is a calzone…only BETTER!
Well, it’s not really a calzone, but that is what I am comparing it to. A Gozleme is actually a turkish flatbread, that’s made of hand rolled dough and brushed with butter (I used olive oil), filled with different savory toppings and cooked over a griddle (I used my trusty Stuab cast iron skillet). I looked up the meaning of Gozleme and found that goz is Turkish for eye. As the flatbread cooks, you will see little brown spots begin to appear, apparently these are the “eyes”. Traditionally, Gozleme can be filled with a minced type of meat, such as lamb, but there are many other types of fillings that can be used. I went opposite of meat and filled mine Gozleme with cheese, veggies and herbs.
Typical, right? But hey, this leaves me with yet another Gozleme to try out. My next version will be lamb, and trust me, there will be MANY more Gozleme in my future.
They are so good. No, for reals. So good.
Also, I love when Monday includes this much cheesy goodness. Doesn’t it just make Monday all that much better!?! And fun? And delicious?
Yup. Yup. Sure does.
Oddly, I am particularly excited for this Monday. One, because I have been dying to share this meal with you since the day I made it and two, because I am hoping that with the start of a new week it will also be the start of some new weather (Tuesday says mostly sunny and 49).
I really hate to complain again about the weather, but well, I just have to (you know, shake it off, complain it off? Same sort of thing, right? Right.). It’s been cold, snowing and windy all weekend and umm it’s left me wanting to stay under my covers at all times and hide from life…if only I was fourteen again and could get away with that.
Someday though, when I am all on top of things, ahead with work and life and the house is semi clean I will have that day. That type of day I used have all the time when I was a teen. That kind of day literally spent in your pajamas, snuggling in your covers and watching re-runs of all the cheesy romantic movies on TV. Come on, you guys all know about this day, right? It’s typically a rainy day (hey, I lived in Cleveland!) and it’s just what every person needs every once in a while.
I may be remembering them better than they really were, but then again, probably not. Lazy days rule. Just sayin.
Ahh. SHOOT. Now I am realizing that I am probably making you all dream about the perfect lazy day on a Monday. SORRY. Next time, I will do this on a Friday, so you can wake up Saturday and have your perfect lazy day, but then make a killer dinner with an extra chocolate dessert cause that’s how all lazy days need to end.
Oh, oh!?! What if I made us all a guide to the perfect lazy day? Like a list of all the movies, books, popcorn, cheese, cookies, pizza and ice cream that we definitely need to experience on our lazy day?? I’m not sure that guide is really needed, but it sure would be fun to put together!
OK. stopping now. My mind drifts AND gets a little carried away. Sorry. Again.
Not sure how I got so off track there, but let me get us back on track. I know that these asparagus, pistachio pesto and ricotta Gozleme may seem a bit odd, but they really are very similar to making a calzone, only instead of baking, you use a skillet.
So you see? They are better than a calzone, just for the simple fact that you don’t have to wait twenty minutes for them to bake. And by cooking that dough on the skillet, well it’s like eating a piece of stuffed homemade naan…beyond delicious. The options for fillings are endless. Trust me, I had a rather hard time deciding between a few ideas, but somehow I ended up with one that’s pretty perfect for spring – light, colorful and full of fresh herbs and spring veggies.
Oh and right. Cheese!!
I used a mix of ricotta and fontina, but if there are any vegans out there who might want to make this, you can totally leave the cheese out and swap the parmesan in the pesto for nutritional yeast.
You can also use goat cheese if you just are not a fan of cow’s milk cheese. I think goat cheese would be so good. No matter what way you decide to make these, they’re gonna be awesome. It’s really all about that dough and cooking it on a skillet. It’s just a wonderful thing.
Plus, it’s carbs, basil and cheese. Three of my most favorite things.
Asparagus, Pistachio Pesto and Ricotta Gozleme.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon honey use sugar for vegan variation
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 1/2 cup parmesan grated (use nutritional yeast for vegan variation)
- 1/3 cup roasted pistachios
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling and brushing
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed
- 6-8 ounces ricotta cheese omit for for vegan variation
- 4-6 ounces fontina cheese shredded (omit for vegan variation)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- fresh tomatoes and arugula for serving
- To make the dough, place the yeast, honey and water in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly. Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture and stir together to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and elastic. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Place in a large greased bowl, cover, and set aside in a warm spot for 15-20 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, make the pesto. Add the basil, mint, parmesan, pistachios, garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt to a food processor or blender. Pulse until until combined. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside or store in the fridge for up to one week.
- Heat a large skillet, grill pan or grill over high heat. Toss the asparagus with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook until lightly charred and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove and chop into 1 inch pieces.
- By this time, the dough should be ready to go. Turn the dough out and divide it into 4 equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough to an approximately 9 x 14 inch rectangle. Make sure your work surface is well floured, you do not want the dough to stick. Cut each rectangle in half to make 8 squares (or leave as 4 big rectangles for a larger serving).
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, fontina cheese and lemon zest. Place 2-4 tablespoons pesto on one side of each piece of dough, leaving a 1/2 border. Add an 1/8 of the ricotta cheese mixture and then a small handful of asparagus. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling and press the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, you may not need to use all the pesto.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of the gozleme with oil (you may also use melted butter) and cook, in batches, for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Serve with fresh basil, arugula and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt if desired.
You really cannot go wrong with a combo like that.