Roasted Asparagus Pesto with Pasta

This Roasted Asparagus Pesto with Pasta recipe is perfect with Chickapea Pasta because it complements the pasta’s natural nutty flavors with the addition of walnuts and a topping of toasted pine nuts.  The spirals are perfect to absorb the creamy sauce!

Roasted Asparagus Pesto with Pasta | Barrie Hill Farms

Roasted Asparagus Pesto is quick and easy!

As soon as the asparagus was ready this year I knew I had to do something special with pasta and roasting it with lemon and garlic seemed to be a natural.  I used walnuts in this pesto but you can use the traditional pine nuts or even almonds.

I love pesto and have created many different kinds but this one is now my favorite.  The roasting makes all the difference and takes only 20 minutes then into the food processor.

Barrie Hill Farms Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus Pesto is perfect with Chickapea Pasta!

Now that the warmer weather is here, I want quick and easy recipes that will still include all the necessary nutrients. A vegetarian, gluten-free meal is super simple to create when I used Chickapea.  I love that it is available at the farm for my shopping convenience. Not only does it provide the protein but I’m a little obsessed with textures in my food and this dense texture means I’m getting more bite for my buck!

We need to make the most of asparagus during it’s short season!  Make a double batch on try it on chicken too – it was delicious!

Roasted Asparagus Pesto with Pasta

This Roasted Asparagus Pesto with Pasta is perfect with Chickapea because it complements the natural nutty flavors with the addition of walnuts and a topping of toasted pine nuts. The spirals are perfect to absorb the creamy sauce!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 468kcal


  • 8 ounces Chickapea Pasta. I used spirals but all shapes would work.
  • 1 pound asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, pine nuts or cashews (your choice)
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved


  • Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain, rinse immediately and set aside.
  • Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet with roasted garlic. Roast at 350 F for 20 minutes.
  • Heat small saute pan and toast pine nuts until brown. About 3 minutes.
  • In food processor, combine basil, cheese, walnuts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from half a lemon, asparagus and garlic (peeled) until smooth and creamy.
  • In a large bowl combine pasta and pesto, tossing well to coat spirals.  Add 1/2 cup of pasta water if extra creaminess is desired.
  • Top with chopped tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.  Serve immediately.


I doubled this recipe and used it on chicken as well.  Delicious!


Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1400IU | Vitamin C: 30.7mg | Calcium: 295mg | Iron: 5.9mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Chickapea Pasta with Roasted Asparagus Pesto | Barrie Hill Farms

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Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.


More Asparagus Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Asparagus Salsa

Shaved Asparagus Salad


When is Aspargus Available at Barrie Hills Farm?A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.



Gluten Free Banana and Raspberry Bread

This healthy and Gluten Free Banana and Raspberry Bread is the perfect summer brunch treat! Made with whole grains, almonds, and entirely fruit sweetened, and then flecked with summer raspberries and dark chocolate chips.

Gluten free banana bread with raspberries and dark chocolate chips cut into thick slices.

This recipe was submitted by Michelle at Sunkissed Kitchen, a partner of Barrie Hill Farms.

Brunch-worthy Raspberry Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

Who doesn’t love a good banana bread? This banana bread takes it to the next level with the addition of fresh raspberries, and dark chocolate chips.

Not only is this banana bread “next level,” it’s also good for you! This healthy gluten free banana and raspberry bread is made with whole oats and almond flour, and is entirely fruit sweetened. Not a drop of refined sugar, or even honey.

A bowl of banana bread batter with raspberries and dark chocolate chips.

Healthy Gluten Free Banana and Raspberry Bread

Making a loaf of this delicious bread out of whole ingredients couldn’t be easier.

I always start this bread out by grinding whole oats into an oat flour. Buying the store milled oat flour is too fine and the bread loses some of it’s wonderfully hearty texture.

When making sugar free desserts, make sure you’re using high quality fruit. There’s no sugar being added to this healthy banana bread, so your bananas need to be ripe and spotty, and your berries need to be of good quality. I buy organic raspberries – they are one of the “dirty dozen.” They might not always show up on the list, but they are one of the most heavily pesticide doused produce items.

I like using big, sweet medjool dates when sweetening a quick bread or cake recipe, but using other date varieties is fine. Make sure your dates are fresh and soft so they blend up well into the banana bread batter.

Tips for Banana Raspberry Bread

  • Make it Gluten Free: If you need this recipe to be gluten free, be sure to buy certified gluten free oats.
  • Make it Ahead: This loaf freezes beautifully. Be sure to wrap it tight in plastic wrap, and then seal in a freezer ziplock bag. Allow to defrost on the counter when ready to serve.

Banana and Raspberry Bread

This healthy gluten free loaf is the perfect banana bread -- lightly fruit sweetened, and studded with summer raspberries and dark chocolate chips. The perfect healthy banana bread for all occasions.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana bread, gluten free bread, healthy banana bread
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 279kcal


  • 1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil virgin
  • 5-6 medjool dates 3 ounces, pitted
  • 3 bananas ripe (12 ounces peeled)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats gluten free, if necessary
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips plus more for topping


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add oats to a blender, and process to form a fine flour. I find that store bought oat flour is too fine and gives breads a slighly sandy texture, so I recommend grinding your own for this recipe. Set oat flour aside and rinse blender.
  • Add almond milk and dates to the blender. Warm coconut oil until its liquid and slightly warm. Warming it ensures it doesn't solidify when mixed with the cold ingredients.
  • Process the dates, milk and oil until it becomes a very smooth paste. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add bananas and mash with a fork. Leave some texture to the bananas. Since this recipe is fruit sweetened, it's very important to use ripe and sweet bananas.
  • Add the eggs, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt, along with the date paste, to the bowl with the bananas, and stir to combine.
  • Add the oat flour and almond flour, and stir just until there is no more dry flour.
  • Add the raspberries and dark chocolate chips, and gently fold into the batter.
  • Line and loaf pan (8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2) with baking paper, and add batter to the pan. Sprinkle additional oats and chocolate chips on top, if desired.
  • Bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, until the center of the loaf is set. Allow to cool before slicing.
  • This bread is delicious served warm or cold. Store sealed tight in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer up to 2 months.


Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 7.8mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

A loaf of raspberry dark chocolate banana bread.

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!


Recipe courtesy of Sunkissed Kitchen,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.


More Raspberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Raspberry and Peach Wine Spritzer Recipe

Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa


When are Raspberries Available at Barrie Hills Farm?A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

Whittamore’s Farm in the City: Thank You for 60 Years of Farm Fun

Farmer Morris says goodbye to Farmer Whittamore

After closing their operation last fall, most of their farm equipment was offered for sale. Farmer Morris agreed to purchase quite a few of Whittamore’s irrigation pipes and fittings. Today, Mike Whittamore stopped by the farm to drop off the last of the order.

As many of you may know, the Whittamore family has retired from farming “Pick-Your-Own” fruits and vegetables, after more than 60 years of being leaders in the industry.

As longstanding members of many Ontario farm organizations, the Whittamores were always leaders that were willing to share their expertise with others, for the betterment of all farmers in the province. Their pick your own, farm shop, bakery and school tours were always exceptional models of best practices and professionalism. And they became friends to many across Ontario.

Over the last 25 years I have spent many a sleepless spring night on my cell phone with Mike Whittamore, as we irrigated the fields to protect our strawberry blossoms from frost. “Are you watering yet? What time did it start to freeze at your place?” We would keep each other awake, share a laugh and fight back against Mother Nature together. Because that’s what farmers do. And we were in it together. I can clearly recall one exceptionally frost plagued season. We had both been up five or six nights in a row fighting the frost. I was sleep deprived and exhausted. Around the sixth night I was completely worn out. Beat. On our nightly call I finally said “Mike, I give up. I can’t do this anymore. The forecast is calling for frost AGAIN TOMORROW. I’m just going to go to sleep and let the #$@! berries freeze.” Instantly, Mike replied “You CAN’T do that. You’ve got too much invested. We’ve done six nights together, you can do one more. Don’t give up now. You can do it.” And he was right. I had come too far to quit. So, I battled on. I don’t remember how the crop turned out that year, but we saved our crops and it wasn’t a wipe out. And I had Mike to thank. So, each year, midnight frost chats became a part of our farming life. I’m going to miss those chats this year. Mike likely won’t because he’ll be tucked warmly in his bed. But, by the time he finally gets out of bed and is leisurely enjoying a morning coffee, I bet he gives me a call… just to see how things went.

So Whittamore’s farm will be missed by many. It will be impossible to “fill their shoes”, but the many farms around Ontario that Whittamores helped and inspired will be honoured to welcome their farm friends the best we can. Whittamore’s Farm was “Your farm in the city”. Barrie Hill Farms hopes to be “Your farm not far from the city” and will warmly welcome all of the Whittamore’s former customers who are going to miss them just as l will.

Farmer Morris


Enjoy Farm to Table Eating in Barrie, Ontario

bowl of asparagus tomato salad with olive oil on the side
The Low-Down on Farm-to-Table

The definition of Farm to Table or Farm to Fork is “a social movement that promotes eating local food that was acquired directly from the producer”. The movement can be applied anywhere that food is available – restaurants, cafeterias, markets and especially in the home kitchen. At its core, the farm to table movement is about ensuring that just-picked produce is being consumed as soon as possible to get the most nutritional value from the fruit and vegetables. Outside of having better tasting and more nutrient dense foods, farm to table also helps:

  • Boost the local economy
  • Support local farmers
  • Promote sustainable agriculture practices

The idea of eating only locally grown, sustainable produce in Barrie, Ontario, can be intimidating, but it is more affordable and more accessible than you think. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways to shop and eat local in and around Barrie all year long.

Shopping Farm-to-Table

Barrie Hill Farms is a great farm near Barrie for buying local, in-season, Ontario produce during the peak producing months of May through October. The farm market is open 7 days a week and not only carries crops from our working farm, but also meat, dairy and eggs from local producers.

When our farm market isn’t open, we recommend checking out some of these other ‘farm-to-table’ supporters in and around Barrie:

Barrie Farmers Market
The Barrie Farmers Market is open year-round on Saturdays from 8AM-12PM at Barrie City Hall. While local produce is available seasonally, the market features meat, dairy and eggs, baked goods, pantry products like honey, pickles and preserves as well as pre-made fine foods.

Nicholyn Farms
Nicholyn Farms is open year-round and is committed to providing their customers with products that not only contribute to a healthy lifestyle but are also environmentally sustainable. Outside of produce, Nicholyn Farms sells a wide variety of meat, dairy and eggs along with baked good and pantry staples.

Innisfil Farmers Market
The Innisfil Farmers Market is seasonal, but a great option for picking up Barrie Hill Farm’s produce in the South end of Barrie. Our farm fresh produce can be found alongside greenhouse and honey products from Lakeview Gardens.

Farm-to-Table Restaurants

One of the simplest ways to engage with the farm-to-table movement is to choose the restaurants you support carefully. There are some great options in and around Barrie that focus on creating food from seasonal, farm fresh ingredients.

The Farmhouse
The Farmhouse Restaurant serves rustic style comfort food made from scratch with farm fresh ingredients. Open year round, The Farmhouse has an amazing view of Kempenfelt Bay from both dining room and patio.

The North RestaurantChef and owner Marco Ormonde focuses his signature dishes and nightly specials on fresh, seasonal ingredients. This fine dining experience is perfect for a celebration or a romantic evening and will be a meal you can feel good about.

Michael and Marion’s
Focusing on the finest and freshest ingredients that Simcoe County has to offer, Michael and Marion’s is some of the best dining that Barrie has to offer. Throughout the year, don’t be surprised if some of the produce you enjoy here is from Barrie Hill Farms!