Baby artichokes aren't simply small or immature versions of larger artichokes; they are a variety that just grows smaller. The "choke" – the hairy layer over the heart – isn't nearly as developed as in larger artichokes and is usually fully edible. This makes preparing baby artichokes much easier, per artichoke anyway, than large specimens. Baby artichokes lend themselves to some preparations that aren't as do-able with larger speciments, however, and you'll find three great ones below.
If you aren't already familiar with the method, see How to Trim Baby Artichokes for step-by-step directions.
Trimmed and sliced baby artichokes cooked simply in olive oil become golden, crisp delights. Serve these crispy baby artichokes on their own as a nibble before dinner or as part of an antipasto plate. They make a lovely garnish on soups or salads, too.
You won't believe the difference in flavor and texture between homemade preserved baby artichokes and jarred marinated artichokes hearts from the store. These are a fair amount of work, but just the ticket if you happen to come across a bounty of baby artichokes.
These sautéed baby artichokes are gently cooked with a bit of pancetta (feel free to substitute bacon or prosciutto, if you like, or leave it out entirely for a vegetarian version), garlic, and plenty of mint at the end. Add freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, if that sounds good. I've been known to grind plenty of black pepper onto these at the end, too.