The Finished Pizza
The Merguez spices and harissa (Tunisian hot chili paste) meld beautifully with the cauliflower, creating what could very well be Merguez sausage (to someone who didn't know better). The pepper flakes, cayenne, cumin, and coriander add just enough spice to the pizza to make things interesting without overwhelming the balance of flavors. The milky mozzarella, sweet and delicate fennel, and roasted red peppers serve to balance the heat.
Crazy for Cauliflower
Core the head of cauliflower and cut it into large sized florets.
Merguez it Up
Toss the cauliflower florets into a large bowl with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and the merguez spices: red pepper flakes, cayenne, cumin, and coriander.
Add a few tablespoons of harissa paste and toss to coat the cauliflower.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread the cauliflower florets onto a sheet tray and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until tender.
Once the cauliflower is out of the oven, give it a rough chop. Mix the chopped cauliflower with the pan juices that are leftover from roasting. Now you have your "Merguez" cauliflower!
Pizza by Cer té makes pizza with crust that is somewhere between Neapolitan and New York-style. It is light and crisp, but holds up to all those toppings. The cornicione, in contrast, is bubbly and has a good chew.
Roll out the dough into a 12 inch round and get it ready for that awesome Merguez cauliflower!
Pizza by Cer té uses handmade mozzarella from Corona Dairy in Queens, but any low moisture mozz will do you just fine.
Spread the mozz out evenly over the dough, making sure the whole pizza is covered with cheesy goodness.
Pepper, Spice, and Everything Nice
Spread the roasted and chopped cauliflower over the pizza. At this point, the cauliflower looks kind of like sausage, doesn't it? Assort the slices of roasted red pepper over pizza.
The Grand Fennel-y
Shave the raw fennel bulb with a box grater over the pizza. The flavor of the fennel will mellow and it will get meltingly soft in the oven.
Into the Fire
For extra flavor (and to achieve a beautifully browned crust), brush the cornicione with garlic oil before cooking the pizza. Garlic oil is simply a mixture of chopped garlic and olive oil.
Now it's time for the oven. Heat your oven to the highest temperature it can reach. If you're using a pizza stone, you'll want it to be in the oven during the pre-heat. Cook the pizza until the crust is crisp and bubbly and the cheese has melted.
Now all there is left to do is enjoy a slice of your spicy and sweet Cauliflower "Merguez" Pizza!