1/2 lb medium asparagus, trimmed
2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (2 1/2 lb in pods) or shelled edamame (fresh soybeans)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb arugula, coarse stems discarded
1 (1/2-lb) piece Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Cut asparagus stalks on a long diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices, leaving 1-inch-long tips (reserve tips separately). Blanch asparagus tips (but not sliced stalks) in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes, then immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking.
Return water to a boil and blanch fava beans 1 minute, then immediately transfer with slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Drain asparagus tips and beans and gently peel skins from beans (it's not necessary to peel edamame, if using). Toss beans and asparagus (blanched tips and raw sliced stalks) in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste, then divide among 4 plates. Toss arugula with remaining tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste and mound on top of vegetables. Shave thin slices of cheese over salad with a vegetable peeler (use about half of piece), then drizzle with vinegar.
(from Gourmet, March 2003)