We’ve been in Phoenix for a long weekend (yes, it’s 110 degrees), so I made and photographed this fresh fava salad before we left. Why go to Phoenix in July? Andrew grew up right outside of Phoenix so we traveled to perform some original music at the Nash, a great jazz club in the Roosevelt Row Arts District of downtown Phoenix, and to spend time with his parents and their adorable beagle puppy, Lucy. My job at the Met Opera Guild just ended and I don’t start my new job until next week, so I’m feeling extra fancy free in my funemployment. We’ve been doing a lot of relaxing and a LOT of eating, including an amazing engagement celebration dinner at Wright’s at the Biltmore. I had never visited the Biltmore before and I absolutely fell in love with the art deco Frank Lloyd Wright–esque architecture, not to mention the delicious modern Southwestern-influenced food at the restaurant (I think the red chile–braised duck appetizer was my fave).
This trip has involved fried chicken more than once, as well as donuts, spam sliders, poutine, bacon, crème brûlée, and In-N-Out Burger. Yum, but I’m going to be ready for some salads when we get back to Brooklyn. I do feel like I’ve been getting to know the Phoenix food scene pretty well over the past few years of trips here so I’m going to start working on a list of restaurant recommendations. Stay tuned! I’m also feeling inspired by the local ingredients here—there was a great article in the newspaper today about edible desert plants. There wasn’t a ton of time for cooking on this trip, but we visited Los Altos Ranch Market, the most amazing and giant grocery store full of traditional Mexican ingredients, and between that and the desert plants article I’m already coming up with ideas for next time.
I’m also coming up with ideas for hot weather food for this coming weekend—the NY weather forecast shows temperatures in the mid-90’s coming up. Yikes. Caprese salads and mint juleps on the horizon. Stay cool, everyone!
Fresh Favas with Feta & Mint
- fresh favas, about 1/2 cup per serving
- feta, one 1 1/2 oz. slice per serving
- oil-cured Moroccan olives, chopped
- fresh mint, chopped
- red onion, cut into thin slivers
- extra virgin olive oil
- lemon wedges
- black pepper and flaky sea salt
- Prepare an ice bath: Fill a medium bowl with cold water and some ice cubes, set aside. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the favas. Cook for two minutes, then drain and transfer to the ice bath. When the favas are cool, peel them.
- Arrange peeled favas and the rest of the ingredients on plates, drizzling olive oil generously and squeezing some lemon. Serve with a baguette.