Traditions, with a side of arugula.

Easter Sunday was an absolutely beautifully perfect Virginia spring day.   The light this time of year is just golden.  Divine.  Breathtaking.  I cannot soak enough of it up.  Throw in all the blooming dogwoods and azaleas everywhere….it’s just beyond words.  I love spring in Virginia. 
We have a Christmas tradition where we invite over anyone we’ve ever met that we discover will be spending the holiday alone.  Edie, ever the thoughtful little elf, decided we should apply it to all holidays.  So while she was making Easter greeting cards for friends and neighbors, she happened to decide to invite a new neighbor to dinner. 
She broke it to us by telling her father I had decided to do this.  I think she had run it by me in the car on the way somewhere when I was distracted, so I signed off on it, but it was definitely her idea.  Which I pointed out when she told her father what I had supposedly done. 
Not a big deal really, I actually love that she is so thoughtful and generous.  And the ask permission by trying to tell her father it was my idea?  Well, she comes by that quite honestly. 
Despite our tradition of having guests to Christmas dinner, we’ve never really settled on a traditional menu, one that we serve year after year.  It’s always an experiment.  Easter however, is a different story.  Our one tradition (besides the Easter Bunny leaving a trail of eggs all over the house) is our meal.  We’ve had it for a good many years now and it’s always spot on.  Pesto-encrusted salmon, parsleyed red potatoes, salad and roasted asparagus.
This year’s pesto was made with the abundance of arugula.  If you’ve never made pesto with arugula, you really should try it.  It’s become our favorite pesto and we love us some pestos here.   It went paired wonderfully with the salmon.  Try it for yourself.

Arugula Pesto
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1/3 cup (or more if needed) olive oil*
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, chopped
Pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Pesto Encrusted Salmon
Oil a baking dish or cookie sheet. 
Place a filet of wild salmon in it and pour about a 1/4 cup liquid (wine or broth) over it.
Coat your fish with a nice layer of pesto and then stick under the broiler for 8-10 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the pesto has a nice, brownish-blackish crust.

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