INGREDIENTS

Buyer's guide

Although fresh leaves are becoming more widely available, they are usually sold dried. The dried bay leaves are more strongly flavoured than fresh ones, but the uses for both are the same.

Preparation

Bay leaves can be used to flavour vinegars and pâtés, and in pickling and marinades. Long cooking draws out the aroma of this herb and most braised, poached and stewed dishes benefit from the addition of a bay leaf, as do soups, stocks and risottos. Add a bay leaf when braising red or pickled cabbage, to poaching liquid for fish, or to infuse the milk for custard or rice pudding.