We live within walking distance of a year-around farmers' market in the University District of Seattle. The greatest thing about this is we can walk, bring our dog and 2-year-old, and check out the latest harvests. I love the ideas it inspires in our kitchen; vegetables I would never know what to do with get a second chance after chatting with some folks on how to prepare them.
I remember a trip last year while visiting my brother-in-law in Portland. He lived close to Beaverton's farmers' market and we took advantage of some decent spring weather and headed down there. We stocked up on our dinner for the evening with breads, cheese, salad and fruit. Luckily, they were having a demonstration of sauteed fava beans with onion and parsnips. I'm not around a lot of fava beans and, quiet frankly, the thought of them brings me back to the horrendous Hannibal Lector in "The Silence of the Lambs." I can hear him utter the words, "...fava beans," with his tongue slurping up his words. Ugh, gives me the creeps just thinking about it, and because of this, I never cared one bit about fava beans. But, the demonstration made me think twice. The chef simply sauteed the beans with olive oil, salt and pepper, and added chopped parsnips and onion after a bit. The flavor was awesome and so fresh and buttery. We bought some on the spot, along with parsnips and onion, and replicated it when we got home.
I now embrace foreign vegetables and am pleased to say I've acquired a liking to sea beans, kobocha - a Japanese squash and, well, fava beans.