Tomato Walnut Pesto Asparagus

This is an awesome recipe that combines some of my favorite fruits and vegetables tomato and asparagus!  Not only is this a healthy side dish but it is gorgeous to look at as well!

pesto with asparagus and walnuts
Tomato, Asparagus Pesto with Walnuts

Tomatoes are considered the fruit of a tomato plant but a vegetable for cooking purposes.   They are loaded with Vitamins A, C and folic acid.  They also contains a phytonutrient called lycopene which helps prevent many chronic diseases.  Here are some of the health benefits of tomatoes:

1.  The folic Acid in tomatoes help with depression.

2.  Lycopene rich tomatoes protect eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration.

3.  Tomatoes are full of fiber and water and help prevent constipation.

4.  The Vitamin C in tomatoes are great for collagen production and good for your skin!

5.  Eating tomatoes which are high in fiber and good for diabetics.  They help with blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.

6.  Tomatoes are great for heart health!  They have fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and choline.  These are all helpful to reduce the risk of heart disease.

7.  The potassium in tomatoes is helpful to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

8.  High fiber and beta-carotene in tomatoes help reduce the risk of colon cancer!

What You Need:

2 pints of grape tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 lbs of asparagus  (trim ends)garlic

olive oil

red pepper flakes

ground pepper

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp smoked paprika

What To Do:

1.  Oven to 450.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil.

2.  Add walnuts to small sauté pan over medium to low heat and toast for 6 minutes until toasted.

3.  Put grape tomatoes on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray and pinch of sea salt.  Roast for 10 minutes.  Stir and roast again for another 5-10 minutes until they are breaking open and turning a bit black.

4.  Add garlic and walnuts to food processor.  Pulse until they pureed.  Add olive oil, vinegar, paprika and red pepper flakes and 1/2 the tomatoes.  Pulse together in processor until you make a pesto consistency.

5.  Put some olive oil into sauté pan and add asparagus.  Cook a couple minutes till they get a bit charred.  Continue at lower temperature for another 5 minutes until they are tender.

6.  Toss asparagus with pesto and add the rest of the roasted tomatoes!

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