Artichokes are the symbolism for peace in many countries. At this time in the world it seems apropos to eat this Spring vegetable right now. We could all do with world peace and some inner sanctum. Full artichokes can be arduous to eat. They take time to peel, scoop out the center to get to the heart, and its preparation time seems counter to inner harmony. However, I recently tried cooking baby artichokes for the first time and I was so delighted at how easy they were to make. All you have to do is pick off the rough and hard outer leaves, cut in half and voila you have a delicious vegetable as your canvas. You can shave them and eat them raw like they do in Italy mixed with lemon juice and olive oil or you can do a sauté like I did or even easier just roast them. Most people’s favorite part of the artichoke is the heart. Our hearts might be heavy right now however the more we look to love as a verb, the more love will see us through these perplexing situations. One of the best ways to share our love is by eating with those that we love. So invite some friends over, open a bottle of wine, and share baby artichokes. I am sure it will make you feel zen and connected with all that is right with the world. Namaste (“The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you”)

Serves 4 as an appetizer

12-14 baby artichokes
1 tablespoon onion scapes (scallions or chives), chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
salt and  pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese

Fill a large, nonreactive bowl with water and squeeze the juice of one lemon into it, throwing the lemons in as well. (You’ll dunk the artichokes in here so they don’t discolor.)Using a sharp knife, slice the top one half to one inch off each artichoke. Peel away the tough outer leaves until you reach the tender inner leaves. Slice in half lengthwise, remove the inner fuzz with a spoon if needed, and dunk in the lemon water. Continue with all artichokes. When they’re all ready, drain. Toss the artichokes with the onion scapes, olive oil, thyme, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Heat a pan on medium high, drizzle with olive oil  and pan fry for 7- 10 minutes until done artichokes are crispy and cooked. You can also arrange on a baking sheet. Roast for about 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees, checking halfway, until the artichokes are tender. Remove from the pan or oven and finish with grated parmesan cheese.