I work the typical 9-5 (or 6 or 7) sort of job, and by the time I get home, all the visions of tasty, elegant meals dancing in my head have been obliterated by a gauzy red haze of what I like to call: Commuter’s Rage Hunger. Feed me. Feed me now, or better yet, feed me about a half an hour ago. You’re no longer dealing with a human being at this point. What savagery music will not soothe, a hot meal will; thankfully, that doesn’t have to take very long.
Since I stopped eating dairy, I’d forgotten largely about stromboli, or stuffed breads in general, until a friend whipped one up at a holiday gathering. They have to comforting starchy goodness, combined with that one dish meal ease. The components are simple, pizza dough, cheese, and filling. The flexibility here is limited only to the contents of your fridge. The bonus is you don’t even have to make the pizza dough, you could unashamedly buy it at your local market. When dealing with the fierce beasts clamoring for weeknight meals, who has time for dough to rise? Who has the forethought to do this the night before? By all means, make your own! Just know that you always have that option for when that significant other comes scratching at the door, howling for food.
I’d recently acquired the coveted Treeline Cheese, in spreadable scallion form (there is also garlic & herb available) and decided to go with that. You can use whatever non-dairy cheese floats your proverbial boat.
I chose roasted broccoli for my filling. If you’re going to use a vegetable, chances are, your best bet is to roast it. It will deepen the flavor without diluting it, add a lovely bit of char, and be perfectly cooked. For the broccoli, I focused on the crowns, setting the stalks aside for a later day, but you can always peel away any tough skins and include them. Toss the crowns in a baking dish, I added a few cloves of garlic in as well, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Pop these in a 400° F oven for 15-20 minutes while you assemble the rest. What makes this recipe even faster is if you have roasted veggie leftovers on the ready.
Roasted Broccoli Stromboli
1 Recipe/Store bought pizza dough
3-4 Crowns fresh broccoli
7 cloves of garlic (whole, optional)
Olive oil for roasting
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 cup of Non-Dairy Cheese (grated or spreadable)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and pat your dough out into a large flat rectangle. It will fight you a bit, and try to return to its former ball shape. Show it who’s boss, or have the hungriest of you beat it into submission; try not to tear it, though. You don’t want it to be particularly thin, maybe half an inch. Thick enough to contain your delicious fillings, but not so thick that it won’t bake through. Spread your non-dairy cheese of choice over you subservient dough rectangle, leaving a half inch border all around.
Once your broccoli has cooled, pile it on top, along with any errant garlic cloves, again leaving a 1/2 inch border.
Now it’s time to roll up your stromboli! From the short end, roll it up like a jelly roll, shaping it up as you go.
Cut a few steam vents on top. You can brush the top with olive oil to promote browning, but I found that it browned well on its own. Bake at 375° F for 15-20 minutes, until dough is nice and golden.
Slice it into the appropriate monster portions to quell your favorite hungry beast!
Strombolis are exceptionally versatile, filling, and tasty. For an even quicker and heartier version, substitute your favorite vegan sausage in place of, or with the veggies. Hell, you could even sprinkle the pizza dough with sugar, crushed hazelnuts, and grated chocolate in place of cheese. In fact, why hasn’t that happened yet? Get on it!