Fill a very large bowl (ample enough to hold all the artichokes) halfway with cold water. Squeeze in juice from half the lemon.
Prepare artichokes: Clean and trim artichokes, (how to prepare artichokes) rubbing cut areas with the other lemon half as you work, then putting in the bowl of cold water. If you are lucky to have artichokes with stems (or even if there is a small stub) remove the stems so evenly at the base that the artichokes are level enough to sit upright in all their glory. If you don't have stems, alas the day that you've lost this edible portion, but be sure to even the artichokes. Clean stems by peeling off outside and rubbing with lemon and put in water.
Combine garlic, mint and parsley in a small bowl. Season with salt and freshly milled pepper to taste. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and stir to combine.
Remove artichokes from their water bath. Give a few hard shakes (over the sink, please) to remove excess water. Dry them in a cloth. Be green - use a cloth, not paper towels.
Spread the artichoke open and fill with the garlic/herb combination. Be sure to push this mixture between the leaves, not just in the center where the choke has been removed. The aromatic and savory taste of mint should permeate all the artichoke.
In a large Dutch over, arrange artichokes, base down surrounded by the stems if you have lucked out. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup oil over the artichokes evenly, then pour the wine and finally the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, immediately lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, covered, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
When cooked, sprinkle with a little salt and serve.
A thrifty and practical Roman housewife would save the reserved liquid and use it in a stock for vegetable soup. The water can be saved for a week in the refrigerator.
Contributor: Two Blonde Ladies
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