Smaller artichokes are being shipped more frequently today, offering cooks a novel vegetable to brighten spring meals. They are good marinated, either whole or cut lengthwise in halves, making a tasty appetizer, salad, or vegetable accompaniment. In Italy many cooks dip small artichokes in batter and deep fry them to a golden brown. Small artichokes can be added to stews of poultry, beef , pork, or lamb, or such seafood dishes as paella and
All sizes of artichoes are mature. The smallest simply grow on different parts of the shoot, but their flavor is the same. In small artichokes, which are two inches or less in diameter, often to choke has developed, or the choke is so small that it can be lifted out with the tip of a teaspoon.
To prepare small artichokes for cooking, remove the tough outer leaves, about the first three layers, until the light green leaves appear. Cut off top one-quarter and trim stem close to the bottom. Rub cut edges of the artichoke with a lemon half. Place trimmed, small artichokes in salted, boiling water to cover, to which the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 clove garlic have been added. Cover, cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.