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4 medium artichokes (about 1½ pounds total)
2 medium lemons, halved
⅓ cup plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup water
1 head garlic, plus extra unpeeled cloves, if desired
8 sprigs thyme
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Trim the bottoms of the artichokes and peel the stems (but leave the stems attached if they seem fresh—they are edible and delicious!). Split the artichokes lengthwise and lay them flat on a cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, cut out and discard the chokes but leave the pale artichoke hearts (this is the best part after you roast the artichokes). Pull out the small, hard inner leaves (these are bitter and inedible after they are roasted).
Place the artichokes faceup in a 9 x 13-inch nonreactive baking dish. Squeeze one of the lemon halves all over the exposed pale green choke and the peeled stems. Cut the other half of the lemon into 8 chunks and place one chunk inside the cavity of each artichoke.
Drizzle ⅓ cup of the olive oil all over the cut sides of the artichokes, season generously with salt and pepper, and pour the wine and water into the pan. Flip the artichokes so the cut sides are facing down. Nestle the garlic head into the dish, arrange the thyme sprigs on top, scatter any additional garlic cloves around the pan, if using, seal tightly with foil, and roast in the oven until the artichokes and garlic are tender, 50 to 55 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and uncover the pan. Let the garlic cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic into a small bowl. Mash in the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and the juice of half of the remaining lemon with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the artichoke halves. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges and serve with the artichokes.
Photo © Dan Perez