Frank Lantz

Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon, garlic and cumin

Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon, garlic and cumin, generously showered with Pecorino Romano cheese, and crunchy toasted garlicky breadcrumbs – dressed this way, the Brussels sprouts become a glorious side dish, and a must for your Thanksgiving table.

Recipe originally posted on

With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, you migh be thinking about the menu already.  The recipe I'm sharing today is really quick and easy, but packs a ton of flavor from the lemon-garlic-cumin combo.  Add to that buttery, salty Pecorino Romano cheese, and garlicky breadcrumbs, and you've got an utterly delicious, festive-looking side dish.  


1 lbs Brussels sprouts
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
4-5 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup toasted garlic breadcrumbs (see instructions)


To make the garlic breadcrumbs (can be made in advance):
1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
2. Cut a few slices of stale Italian bread into cubes.  Drizzle 3-4 Tbs of olive oil, salt, and 3-4 pressed garlic cloves.  Mix well, using your hands, to make sure the oil and spices are evenly distributed.   
3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until completely dry and crispy.  Let them cool off and pulse in a food processor a few times, to get a breadcrumb consistency.  Store in a dry place and use as salad or side dish topping, or any recipe that requires the use of regular bread crumbs.

Make the Brussels sprouts:

1.Clean and cut Brussels sprouts in half.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking, and retain the bright green color.
3. Heat 2-3 Tbs olive oil in a cast iron pan, and place Brussels sprouts, cut side down in one layer (do not overcrowd the pan).  Leave undisturbed for about 5-6 minutes, or until they get a nicely browned surface.  4. Sprinkle liberally with salt and black pepper, turn over and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side.  
4. Smash the garlic with some salt in a mortar and pestle.  Zest the lemons and squeeze the juice. Mix the garlic, lemon juice and zest, and cumin.  Set aside.
5. Once the Brussels sprouts are cooked, drizzle the dressing over them, add more salt and pepper, and top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and the garlicky breadcrumbs.


Head over to to read more about this.


I look for a smart and easy way to make the best recipes and hack cooking

“You need to mess up 100 omelettes before you learn to make 1 good one”, someone told me on once.

However, I believe anyone can learn to cook and love cooking without spending 10,000 and 99 burnt omelettes in the process. So, to me cooking comes down to 3 choices: 


Choice 1: What ingredients to choose?

I follow a few simple rules to pick foods that go well together: I always add something crunchy and something sour (as important as salt) and often I sneak in something umami and something spicy as well.

The next level for choice 1 is practicing balancing (bitter-sweet or sweet-spicy) and matching aromas. To get that complexity I built this little tool:


Choice 2: How to apply heat to the ingredients?

If I’m busy I put it on the pan, if I have the time and want something really flavourfull I put it in the oven, and I only boil if I REALLY have to. But what about the 1000 exceptions to this rule? You can either use Google or I typed in my preferred method at the cooking step in the link above. Build a dish and at the end you will get a recipe that proposes a method and timing, answering questions like ‘how to cook eggplant’, ‘how to steam broccoli’, ‘how long to boil quinoa’ or ‘how to cook asparagus’.


Choice 3: How to connect it all into a coherent dish?

I modularize cooking, so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel everytime I cook something new. According to the awesome Mark Bittman, there are only 9 recipes in the world. All recipes are tweaks of these 9. Learn the 9 and you can cook anything. So far, I've only made 4 types of recipes on the above link... but working on the next 5 :-)


Be smart about the 3 choices, and you will learn how to cook fast and easily

Now, when I cook I go through the 3 choices above, and it has done wonders to empower my cooking. Now, I never cook the same thing twice and it’s always an interesting experience. I don’t follow recipes and as a result I really enjoy cooking for the first time in my life.

Cooking has become a fun and de-stressing component in my life. I eat more healthy food, more diverse food with greater variety, more delicious food, and it is even cheap food at the same time! Most importantly, this approach has enabled me to reduce food waste because I can cook with whatever’s in the fridge, I learned to cook vegetarian and sometimes even vegan, which is all great for the planet. Happy tastebuds, happy head, and happy planet :-)

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Charred eggplant with umami sauce

Charred eggplant with umami sauce and toasted garlic quinoa – a fantastic, warm salad bursting with complex contrasting flavors and textures.

Recipe originally posted on

A simple dish of luscious eggplants, grilled on the bbq, until they are nicely charred, soft and smokey, paired with toasted garlicky quinoa, and drizzled liberally with this amazing umami sauce that ties it all together. 

What's umami, and how does it taste like?  Read more about it at


For the umami sauce:
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (see notes)
1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs water
4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs white truffle oil (or, replace with regular olive oil)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the toasted garlicky quinoa:
1 cup cooked quinoa (see notes)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed

For the salad:
3 Japanese eggplants
1/2 cup umami sauce
4 Tbs olive oil
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 Tbs toasted sesame seeds


1. Cook the eggplant:  Cut the eggplant in 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) thick slices.  Sprinkle with salt, and leave in a colander to release its bitter juices, for 30 minutes.  Rinse and dry the eggplant, brush liberally with the olive oil, and salt.  
Heat a bbq grill on high.  Grill the eggplant pieces for 2-3 minutes per side, or until nicely charred, and soft. 

2. Make the quinoa: Heat 2 tbs of olive oil, and add the cooked quinoa to the pan.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook without too much stirring, until the quinoa gets toasty, and nicely colored.  Add the smashed garlic in the end, and cook some more.  If needed, add more oil.  

3. Make the umami sauce: In a bowl, mix all ingredients, except the oil, then slowly drizzle both the olive and truffle oils, while whisking, until it's fully incorporated and emulsified.  Makes about a cup, and will be enough for two salads.

4. Assemble the salad: Spread some of the toasted quinoa on the bottom of your plate.  Arrange half of the eggplant pieces on top, and drizzle with 1/4 of the dressing.  Top with the rest of the quinoa and eggplant, drizzle some more of the dressing, and sprinkle fresh parsley, and toasted sesame seeds on top. 

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