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Bay Leaves a.k.a. Laurus nobilis

November 19, 2011
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The renowned (nobilis) bay (Laurus) tree delivers the versatile leaves that we often use in soups, stews, Italian dishes, and shellfish boils.   The gardener has recently obtained a bay tree that’s actually pretty handy to have around.  Picking bay leaves for the kitchen on an ‘as needed’ basis makes for very fresh, tasty additions to lots of meals.

This year I have a plan to harvest enough leaves to dry and pack in herb tins for Christmas gifts.  I got a good deal on food grade tins from Specialty Bottle.  They have a nice flat, rectangular tin that will work well for bay leaves.

Tin containers from Specialty Bottle

There are several options for drying the leaves.  I like to use my food dehydrator at about 90 degrees for a couple of hours.  Alternative methods include hanging branches upside down inside of a paper bag with half inch holes cut in it.   Hung in a warm place, the leaves should be dry in 5 to 10 days.  Some sources suggest laying the leaves out flat and placing boards on them so that they do not curl during the drying process.  This method can take up to 15 days.

Ultimately the leaves should be stored in a dark, airtight container to retain their flavor.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    December 24, 2011 9:23 am

    And so you did

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