Bless the people of Monterrey, for they give us the wonder of the artichoke -- and the artichoke tea!! There are many ways to prepare an artichoke, but my favorite is to broil it in a small pot, about two inches deep with water, over a fire. Any number of seasonings will attend to this dish, but whichever ones are used will also flavor the tea -- the olive-green shaded, artichoke flavored delight that remains in the pot when the vegetable is done and served.

This is no sweet tea by any stretch, and is best served spiced. I prefer to pour it from the pot into a mason jar, and put it aside for a later day -- why drink the tea at the same meal as you eat the flower? That would be like drinking hot apple juice with a hot apple pie, maybe pleasurable, but repetitive and denying the pallate the gift of variety. It will keep well for days, at least, and makes a good accompaniment to shiitake mushrooms and a variety of tofu recipes.

Some don't consider artichoke tea to be a true "tea" -- but what else would you call a preparation of boiled water flavored with the petals of a flower, even a big, green flower?

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