Brussel sprouts and asparagus | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Brussel sprouts and asparagus

I’m a farmers’ market freak!

click to enlarge Brussel sprouts and asparagus - PHOTO COURTESY OF JACKIE PAGE-HEIDELBERG
Photo courtesy of Jackie Page-Heidelberg
Brussel sprouts and asparagus

I’m a farmers’ market freak! I live for the season, and my spring and summer menus consist heavily of products I buy from the several markets that I visit. This recipe is healthy and delicious, and the balsamic from Olive & Marlowe sends it into the stratosphere. It’s also vegan, but for my meat-lovers, crumbled bacon makes this dish madness. 

I volunteer with 412 Food Rescue. One day, I was going in to do some office work and decided to bring lunch for the crew. Because most everyone who works in the office is vegetarian or vegan, I brought this dish, along with some pineapple salsa and chips. I have really learned how to cook with what is fresh and readily available. Local and sustainable are best, especially in my catering business. It makes a big difference, and food is noticeably fresher and tastier. With the season for farmers’ markets approaching, find out which one is nearest to you and go!


  • One bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1½ pounds of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup Olive & Marlowe 25 Star balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Blanch the Brussels sprouts in boiling water for two minutes, and then the asparagus for one minute. Immediately, shock both in ice water to halt cooking. Toss the Brussels sprouts with two tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and place cut-side down on one of the baking sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the asparagus with two tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on the second baking sheet. Bake with the Brussels sprouts for the last 15 minutes of the cooking process, so that they will be done at the same time. Sauté the red onion in one tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Place all the cooked items in a serving dish and toss. Finally, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. If you like bacon, this is the time to add it.

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