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Anything special to be done with a lot of fresh bay leaves?

  • m

I have a large-for-a-windowsill bay laurel that needs a little pruning. I don't have a BBQ grill or smoker, so I can't use up the trimmings that way, and I've got more dried leaves already than I can use in a year! Anyone ever hear of recipes/cooking techniques that call for a lot of fresh bay leaves?

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  1. put tem in a jar, top with a good vodka, wait a month and enjoy on ice (the vodka, not the leaves).

    1. I have a large bay in amongst the flowers in the garden. When it needs a good pruning, I'd tend to sit a joint of lamb or pork to be roasted on the cuttings.

      1. Bay is one of those herbs where you generally don't use a lot at one time....try roasting a chicken with the leaves in between the skin & meat, simmer a few in a pot of tomato sauce or a pot of potatoes with chopped garlic & a few bay leaves. If you're into preserving, you could make some jam or preserves with bay as the base flavor with maybe some cherry tomatoes or in an olive spread in which the olives are simmered with the leaves.

        Bay leaves go very well in Mediterranean cuisine. If all else fails, you could freeze them while you decide what to do with them or perhaps sell some?

        1. Make up small packets of fresh bay leaves and give them away to friends, along with a recipe or two for how to use them.

          1. Bay-scented potatoes: Make 3 or 4 slices in a potato like a fan (not cutting all the way through. Put a fresh bay leaf in each slit, then bake the potato. Gives the potatoes a lovely, delicate flavor.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karen_Schaffer

              I made this in my French cooking class. It was very good! We used new potatoes and put one bay leaf in each.

            2. Saute in a cast iron pan a skirt steak that's been marinaded with lime, crushed garlic and well seasoned, throw a good amount of sliced white onions and 4-5 bay leaves in the pan and let the onions get just crispy over the high heat. Remove steak, let it rest, slice thinly and top with onions and more lime juice. The bay leaves make quite a difference in this simple dish.

              1. This may sound crazy, but my siblings and I used to use bay leaves (the California variety) to make Bay Leaf Tea. I remember liking it a lot as a kid, although I haven't tried it in 20 years.

                We would use 5-10 leaves, washed first of course, and seep in boiling water for a few minutes.

                1. Howsabout making a bay-leaf infused oil or vinegar.

                  1. Thanks for the varied ideas! I especially like the unusual-to-me ideas of the onions, and the potatoes. Since I have a steak in the fridge, I'll probably try the onions first and work up to roasting/potato baking once the weather cools off some more...

                    1. I have the same situation, perhaps even more so. We have one bay bush that sits on the floor and goes maybe 5' tall. It goes outside in the summer and keeps growing. We prune it regularly and I have lots of leaves both young and old.

                      Problem is, I still can't figure out what bay smells like. We'll even put a bunch of leaves in a pot of water on the gas fireplace stove in the winter but I'm just not getting anything specific out of it. I use it when recipes call for it but it's not like when you pinch it an aroma bursts out of it, you know what i mean? Can somebody help me on this?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: junescook

                        Bay leaves release their aroma in oil soluble ways, you would more like crumble it or crush it to get the sent. You can dry them or freeze them. YOu can make then into little pouches and store with linens and things.

                        1. re: junescook

                          If you really get no noticeable "bay leaf" aroma from either the fresh or dried leaves, I would suspect the plant was misidentified...

                        2. I just made some blueberry preserves that called for adding a fresh bay leaf to every half-pint jar.