Fava beans are the stuff of legend — from the titular bean in Jack and the Beanstalk to Sicily's legume-in-shining armor. The bean is said to have saved Sicilians from starvation during an intense drought (to which bean offerings on St. Joseph's Day alters in March gave thanks). They're also recession-proof. The inexpensive bean adds a healthy and hearty protein boost to stews and salads, provides some health benefits and is thought to possess a few supernatural powers as a good luck charm or when used for divination. While farmers are busy with springtime plantings for the Vernal Equinox, beans are aplenty. Just avoid them with liver and Chianti.
The Crescent City Farmers Market is at Uptown Square on River Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Magazine and Girod streets from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.