The thicker the artichoke stem, the bigger the heart

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Spanish settlers introduced artichokes to California in the early 1900s. The vegetables took to the damp cool coastal parts of the state so remarkably that today 99 percent of artichokes sold in the US are grown here.

It takes an entire year for an artichoke to grow. At Smith Farms, the harvest begins in late February before the California sun gets too hot and turns the artichokes into inedible flowers. McKay Smith sells them at the Santa Monica Farmers Market from March until May.

Need help trimming that artichoke? Get advice from Good Food host Evan Kleiman here.

At the newly opened Spring in Downtown LA, chef Tony Esnault prepares artichokes french style. Find his recipe for Artichoke Barigoule below.

Artichoke Barigoule 3
Artichoke Barigoule (Photo courtesy of Spring)