24 small artichokes, (about 3 pounds)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, freshly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
freshly ground black pepper
Preparing the artichoke: Cut the stem flush with the bottom of the artichoke so the cooked artichoke will rest steadily on the plate. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a large bowl of cool water, and keep the halves close by so you can rub them over the cut surfaces of the artichokes to prevent them from darkening.
Cut or pluck off the smaller leaves around the base of the artichoke. Cut off the top third of the artichoke with a serrated knife. If you’d like, snip off the pointy tips of the outermost larger leaves. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and slip in the lemon halves and the prepared artichokes. Weigh the artichokes down with a heatproof plate to keep them submerged as they cook. Boil until the bottom of the artichoke is tender when poked with the tip of a paring knife, 20 to 30 minutes depending on size.
Making the marinated artichokes: Remove the peel from the lemons with a vegetable peeler. Squeeze the juice.
Drain the cleaned artichokes thoroughly. Choose a pot large enough to hold the artichoke snugly side by side. Arrange the artichokes cut side down in the pot. Pour the olive oil into the pot. Scatter the garlic, parsley, mint, and lemon peel over the artichokes up to but not over the base of the stems.
Add the salt and red and black pepper, cover the pot loosely with the aluminum foil, and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat simmering and cook until the artichoke hearts are tender and about a third of the liquid is left. About 30 minutes. Let the artichokes cool to room temperature in the cooking liquid. Serve at room temperature with some of the cooking liquid as a sauce.