Bay Laurus Nobilis AGM
What are your thoughts about bay leaves? My memory is of ancient packets of dull, desiccated leaves lurking at the back of the larder. Not that I’m adverse to dried herbs, their characteristics often being different rather that inferior to fresh. This is, however, an instance where the ‘best before’ date of recent years is probably a good thing.
Grown as a tree, bay is ‘show off’ grand, often found in containers adorning the window boxes and doorsteps of the poshest addresses. Used as a fresh herb, though the glossy green leaves make a great garnish, it is a bit more low key adding warmth and spicy, aromatic notes to the dishes it is used in. A couple of leaves left to steep in warm milk for half and hour with an onion and black peppercorns as the basis for a bread or béchamel sauce or tied together with parsley and thyme a part of a bouquet garni to flavour casseroles or a soup. Of late, it has become popular in desserts, flavouring compotes or milk based puddings and is also often used in preserving particularly when bottling fruit and vegetables.
If you’re planning to plant a new herb this year, think about this, in a container it literally could be flavour on your doorstep.
I made a Pinterest board about bay trees and leaves if you’d like to take a look the link is here.