1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds baby artichokes
1 carrot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup white wine
About 1 cup water
Slice the onions in 1/2-inch rings, keeping the rings whole as much as possible. Put them in a large skillet, and cover them with the oil. Cook over low heat 15 minutes.
Pare the artichokes, leaving them whole and keeping them in a bowl of lemon water until ready to use.
Add the carrot and garlic to the onions, cover and cook over low heat until the onions are softened, 15 minutes more.
Add the artichokes to the skillet, cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes.
While the artichokes are cooking, combine the fennel seeds, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, vinegar and wine in a small saucepan and bring to a full boil. Pour the mixture over the artichokes in the skillet, and add enough water so the liquid comes about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the artichokes. Cover and cook at a fast simmer until the artichokes are tender enough that a small, sharp knife penetrates the base easily, about 20 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove the artichokes to a bowl. Increase the heat to high, and cook until the liquid has reduced to a light syrup. You will know it