Dishing Up the Dirt

Grilled Asparagus with Blue Cheese, Walnuts & Balsamic Reduction

One of my favorite things about selling vegetables at the farmers market is getting to know other local farmers and ranchers. We live in such a beautiful community surrounded by amazing folks who raise and produce quality food.  At the end of every market we trade unsold Tumbleweed produce for local bread, dairy, meat, kraut and even kombucha. It’s awesome!

This past week at the market we headed home with some local blue cheese from Cascadia Creamery and asparagus (grown from a neighbor farmer.) The weather has been beautiful here so we decided an evening spent drinking beers and hanging around the grill was in order.

I love grilled asparagus when it’s prepared simply with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of flakey sea salt. It doesn’t get much better than that simple combination. However, this week we amped things up and tossed our asparagus in a little walnut oil and grilled it to perfection. We sprinkled the cooked asparagus with blue cheese, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. The result was nothing short of amazing and this simple springtime side dish is going to be a staple throughout the next couple of months.

I picked up a bottle of walnut oil from a local grocery store a few weeks back and have loved it’s mild sweet and nutty flavor. Walnut oil is a little more spendy than other oils but I think it’s totally worth the purchase and have used it on everything from salad dressings to drizzling a little on avocado toast. With that being said, if you don’t have access to a bottle of walnut oil you can substitute with olive oil for this recipe. Regardless, this seasonal side dish is a breeze to prepare and delicious to boot.

Crack open a few beers, fire up the grill and enjoy some tasty food with good company. Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm.

Grilled Asparagus with Blue Cheese & Balsamic Reduction

Prep Time: 5 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Serves: 4

Balsamic Reduction
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon REAL maple syrup
Asparagus Salad
  • 1 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons walnut oil (or olive oil)
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar and maple syrup to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the vinegar, stirring often, for 20-25 minutes, until it has reduced by two-thirds. Keep an eye on the vinegar to avoid burning it and reduce heat if necessary. Your should have about 1/3 cup of reduced balsamic vinegar left in the pan.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium. Toss the asparagus with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill the asparagus (covered) until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. Flip and continuing cooking until tender brown, about 4 more minutes. Transfer to a platter.
  3. Sprinkle the warm asparagus with the blue cheese, toasted walnuts and a few tablespoons of balsamic reduction. Season with additional salt and pepper.


*Store leftover balsamic reduction in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month *Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

Leave a Reply

5 thoughts on “Grilled Asparagus with Blue Cheese, Walnuts & Balsamic Reduction

  1. Lynda says:

    What a nice coincidence, I have some asparagus in my fridge from the farmers market that I was going to have for supper tonight and I have all the ingredients for this except for the blue cheese, but I am sure feta will work. I am excited to try this.

  2. I’ve read before about your bartering system with other farms and just love that. So special to get local blue cheese. My mouth is watering at this combination of blue cheese, balsamic, and walnuts. Perfect side for a warm spring or summer day.

  3. Grilled asparagus is the best!! And that’s so cool that you’ve established those relationships with the other vendors at the farmers’ markets – I feel like shopping at grocery stores takes a lot away from the “human” element of things. Personally, I love striking up conversations with the vendors at the markets, hearing them talk about their product is always so inspiring! 🙂

  4. sara says:

    Wow! This looks soooooooooooooo tasty!

  5. francesca says:

    Oh blue cheese on veggies is my little weakspot. And adding balsamic? I’m totally there.

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