You’ll need 3 sanitized pint jars with new lids and rings
Make Ahead: The artichokes need 1 month to cure, during which time their texture changes from firm to velvety while their structure is retained. If you choose to skip the water-bath canning called for here, refrigerate the sealed jars of artichokes for 1 month before serving. (Artichokes that are not water-bath-canned will not achieve the same silky texture as those that are.) The water-bath-canned jars of artichokes need to cool for 12 hours. They are shelf stable for 1 year. Once opened, the jars should be refrigerated and used within a month.
9 medium or 15 baby artichokes
1/4 C. plus 3 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
1 C. distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed
1/4 C. white wine vinegar
1/4 C. mild olive oil, or more as needed
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, root ends trimmed
Three 1-inch strips lemon zest
Halve and juice the lemons. Place the spent lemon halves in a 5-quart nonreactive (not aluminum or copper) pot; fill it with cold water. Strain and reserve the juice for the marinade. To trim the artichokes, pull the leaves from each one, snapping them where they naturally break. Use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to peel the choke, then make a clean cut across the end of the stem, retaining the tender portion. Use a grapefruit spoon, melon baller or side of a tsp. to scrape away the fuzzy choke, revealing the meaty part of it, then quarter the entire choke. (For baby artichokes, trim only to any inner leaves without a thorn.) As each choke is trimmed, drop it into the pot. Add 1/4 C. salt. Bring the pot filled with lemon water and artichokes to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the water is barely bubbling. Cook, uncovered, until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the marinade: Combine the reserved lemon juice, vinegars, oil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic cloves in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the artichokes to the sanitized jars, dividing evenly and stacking the small ones and first cutting the medium ones into quarters. Tuck them in as tightly as possible without breaking or bruising. Whisk the marinade well and divide among the jars. If there is not enough marinade to cover, add oil as needed to leave 1/2 inch headspace at the top of each jar. Make sure 1 garlic clove, 1 strip of lemon zest and 1 tsp. salt goes into each jar. Run a chopstick or flat plastic knife along the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Clean the rim of each jar with distilled white vinegar to cut residual oils, place the warmed lids on and finger-tighten the rings (not too tight). Process in the boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars rest in the pot for 10 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the jars to a clean, folded dish towel to cool over several hours. Store the water-bath-canned jars in a cool space to cure for 1 month.