The artichoke needs little more than a steam and some lemon, but a few herbs and white wine is a bit more exciting and fit for company.
1. To prepare the artichokes, pull off the tough outer leaves. With a serrated knife, trim off the spiky ends from the top half-inch of each artichoke. Trim the stalks down to about two inches. As you work, put the cleaned artichokes in a large bowl of water that you have squeezed one of the lemons into (reserve the lemon halves).
2. Put the artichokes, stem-side down, into a wide pot with the squeezed lemon halves, one stalk of basil and two stalks of mint.
3. Pour the wine and three cups of water over the artichokes. The liquid should come at least halfway up the artichokes (if not, add more in the same ratio). Bring to a boil, turn the heat down low, cover and cook, turning occasionally until they’re tender – about 45 minutes.
4. To serve, cut the remaining lemon into wedges and tear the leaves from the remaining stalks of basil and mint into rough pieces. Scatter the leaves over the artichokes and drizzle the whole thing with your good olive oil.
Originally featured in Antipasti