| Prep Time: 40 mins
| Cook Time: 20 mins
| Total Time: 1 hour
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
You don't have to order delivery to get your comfort food fix. This Merguez Sausage, Eggplant and Feta Pizza is tasty and easy to make at home if you pick up some pizza dough from the supermarket. Merguez sausage, while technically North African, is enjoyed throughout the Mediterranean region. Made of ground lamb and seasoned with a range of spices, merguez sausage is earthy, nutty with a little spicy heat and a makes a perfect crumbled topping for pizza. The Lebanese love their pizza, although the most popular version, called 'Manousheh', is usually eaten at breakfast! Manousheh is made with a flatbread dough and ordered with toppings of salty cheese, veggies, spicy sausage, spices and even eggs.
We've take a hybrid approach in this recipe to offer a more traditional European-style pizza, only with exotic Mediterranean ingredients. You can find Merguez sausage in large supermarket chains, specialty butchers, and of course online. Feel free to substitute your favorite sausage or we can recommend Portuguese linguica, spicy Italian, or even chicken sausage. This month we suggest using the provided crushed Aleppo Pepper flakes as a topping for your pizza. Aleppo pepper is popular in the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Israel & Turkey) and has about half the heat and twice the flavor as your supermarket red pepper flakes. These beauties give off a fruity, salt-and-vinegary, and earthy-nutty flavor. The heat slowly builds so if you have sensitive diners, let others add a pinch to their taste. Try Aleppo pepper flakes in your favorite recipe to add a unique and flavorful twist.
For the roasted eggplant:
1 small eggplant
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
For the pizza:
8 oz merguez sausage (or use your favorite sausage)
1 tsp Piquant Post Aleppo Pepper (sprinkle more to taste)
16 oz pizza dough (from the supermarket)
3/4 cup pizza sauce
¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
4 oz feta cheese crumbles
If using a pizza stone and time allows, preheat the pizza stone for 45mins-1 hour at 500 degrees. If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an inverted baking sheet, and preheat for 30 minutes for 475 degrees.
Eggplant has a lot of moisture in it. If you have time, sprinkle the chopped eggplant with salt and leave it on the counter for 1 hour. Pat dry with paper towels before tossing in olive oil.
If you prefer a cheesier pizza, add additional shredded parmesan cheese.
Pizza is a blank canvas. Add extra toppings, as you desire on your pizza.
Save a little time by using pre-cooked sausage.
Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the eggplant in small, thin cubes (about ¼” thick, 1” wide). Toss in olive oil and salt, place on parchment paper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until slightly charred. Remove and set aside.
While the eggplant is roasting, cook the merguez sausage. Heat a medium pan over med-high heat with a dash of oil. Remove the sausage from the casing onto the pan. Cook the lamb, breaking up into crumbles. Add Piquant Post Aleppo Pepper. Continue cooking until browned (about 6-8 minutes), Remove from heat and set aside.
Shape the pizza dough into 2 pizza rounds, about 10 inches in diameter each. Place on a baking tray or pizza stone. Spread pizza sauce evenly across the dough. Distribute merguez sausage, eggplant, red onions, and crumbled feta evenly across the pizzas.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (or according to dough directions), until the crust is browned and cheese is melted. Top with fresh thyme and additional Piquant Post Aleppo Pepper!
Aleppo Pepper is traditionally found in grilled meats, kebabs, dips, and salads. It is also common to sprinkle over eggs, roasted veggies and pastas. It is similar to red pepper flakes, but about half the heat and twice the flavor! Test a small amount first and then ramp up the heat as desired.
If you are unable to find merguez sausage, a traditional sausage will work great. Cook and then cut into crumbles to spread on the pizza.
If you’d like to make your own dough, try this Homemade Pizza Dough recipe.
For our vegan/vegetarian friends, omit the merguez sausage and add your favorite veggies or use a vegan sausage. Or, try our refreshing Lebanese Melon and Mint Salad.
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