8 small artichokes of the kind which appear early in the season in continental markets. They are purplish in colour and are generally sold in bunches, complete with their stalks and leaves. If the tips of the leaves are at all prickly, reject them; they will be second-growth side shoots and are too tough.
1 medium-sized onion
1 small carrot
4cloves of garlic
1sprig of thyme
1tablespoon chopped parsley
6tablespoonsdry white wine
Peel the onion and slice it; cut the carrot into fine rounds. Peel the garlic, and keep 2 of the cloves on one side. Chop the other 2 together with the basil and parsley. Remove all but 4 cm (1½ inches) of the artichoke stalks and trim about 1 cm (½ inch) of the leaves with a serrated knife. Remove the outer two layers of leaves from the base and trim the base and stalk with a small knife. Rub each artichoke with half the lemon and plunge them in cold water into which you have squeezed the other half. Take out the artichokes one at a time and remove the leaves and choke (the prickly part inside) with a teaspoon, and replace in the bowl of water.
Heat the olive oil in an enamelled cast-iron or stainless-steel casserole and lightly brown the sliced onion and carrot. Arrange the prepared artichokes in the pan, add the two whole cloves of garlic, the half bayleaf and the thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the white wine and add water until the artichokes are barely covered. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes on a moderate heat, then turn up the heat and boil until the oil and wine are thoroughly amalgamated. The sauce should be syrupy and thick. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped cloves of garlic, basil and parsley, mix well and serve.