Every city has its own unique scent; like a fingerprint in fragrance form. And there are scents that are so truly New York they immediately bring back memories of my many summers there during college; back when I wanted nothing more than to find my inner Carrie Bradshaw and live in lower Manhattan in search of my very own Aiden.
Though I've never been a full-time New Yorker, my college friends have bestowed me honorary status, thanks in some part to all the summers and long work stints I've chalked up. But I always go back to are the New York farmers markets; the markets are filled with produce that is so distinctly New York, especially this time of year, when there are gems like ramps, rhubarb, and scapes. This is a very green take on the Italian bread salad, panzanella, and, while you could add in some crisped bacon or flaked smoked fish to make it more of a meal, it's perfectly perfect as is.
about 1 1/2 cups peeled
cut into 1-inch cubes
quartered and thinly sliced
cut into thirds
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat fill a bowl halfway with ice water, and shell the fava beans. Meanwhile, toss the bread with half the olive oil, the leek, garlic, a good pinch of salt and a few cranks of pepper in a large bowl until well coated. Turn the bread out onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 350°F degree oven until the bread is golden brown and crunchy, about 15 minutes.
The bread mixture can be toasted up to 12 hours ahead; keep at room temperature until ready to use.
When the water is boiling, add a big pinch of salt, add the favas, peas, and snap peas and cook (blanch) until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, immediately transfer them to the ice-water bath.
If you can't find fava beans, you can substitute 1 cup peeled frozen lima beans or edamame.
When the vegetables are cool, remove from ice-water bath and dry well. Remove the fava skins by splitting open the skin and squeezing out the bean.
The vegetables can be blanched and prepared through this step up to 2 days ahead.
Meanwhile, whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, and mustard and season with salt. Combine the bread mixture with the blanched vegetables and toss with half the vinaigrette. Taste and add more salt or pepper, as needed. Fold in the arugula and herbs, add more dressing to just coat the greens. Add more salt, as desired, top with cheese, and serve immediately.
You can dress the bread and blanched vegetables up to 30 minutes ahead; just add the arugula, herbs, and cheese just before serving.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp