Roasted Asparagus with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Oil

Ingredients

Asparagus:

3 pounds asparagus, woody ends of stems removed

4 tbsp. olive oil

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2 tbsp. coarse kosher salt

Cherry Tomatoes:

3 pints cherry tomatoes, rinsed and drained on paper towels

6 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

¼ cup packed whole basil leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  

Rinse asparagus and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange asparagus in a single layer in  two shallow baking pans.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake asparagus in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and slightly charred. (Alternatively, asparagus can be cooked on a hot grill.)

Place cherry tomatoes in a large bowl and add olive oil, garlic and basil leaves. Sprinkle lightly with salt and transfer to a large shallow baking pan(s).  

Roast in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or just until skins of tomatoes begin to burst.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Pour oil, garlic and basil into a blender and process until pureed. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Pour oil through a sieve set over a bowl, or a colander lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl; discard solids.

Arrange asparagus on a platter, top with cherry tomatoes and drizzle with basil oil.

Makes 8-10 servings. 

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