Whole bay leaves lend a woody, astringent flavor to foods, but they are not edible. Be sure to remove them before serving.
Two kinds of bay leaves are available in the United States: Turkish and California. The subtle flavor of the Turkish variety is preferred for most cooking.
Bay leaves come from the evergreen bay laurel tree. In ancient Rome and Greece, victors
were crowned with wreaths made of the leaves, and winning athletes received garlands of them.
For flavor, some cooks add a bay leaf to the water when cooking pasta.
Bay Leaf Recipes
Stephanie's Slow Cooker Stew
Start this warming one-pot meal before you head out for the day. By the time you get home, the well-seasoned meat will be tender and mouthwatering in Stephanie's Slow Cooker Stew.
—Stephanie Rabbitt-Schappacher, West Chester, Ohio
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
When a chill is in the air, I like to make soups for the family. Cheese adds flavor and
heartiness to this Cream of Cauliflower Soup, which is my own recipe.
—Ruth Worden, Mossena, New York
Ham 'n' Salami Jambalaya
This all-in-one Ham 'n' Salami Jambalaya is packed with flavor in every bite. With
onion, celery, tomatoes and two types of meat, you'll find that this hearty meal will satisfy
just about anybody.
—Carol Gawronski, Lake Wales, Florida
Garlic Chuck Roast
Having never made a roast before, I experimented with a few ingredients to come up with this
hearty all-in-one Garlic Chuck Roast meal. Not only is it easy, but the tender
entree gets terrific flavor from garlic, onion and bay leaves.
—Janet Boyer, Nemacolin, Pennsylvania
Presto Paprika Chicken
On busy evenings, I wing it for dinner. The mild, paprika-spiced sauce nicely coats the
rotisserie chicken and noodles in Presto Paprika Chicken.
—Gloria A. Warczak, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
This Chicken Jambalaya is one of my husband's favorites, and he's a picky eater,
so you know it's good! Some folks are surprised how well chicken and shrimp complement each
—Laurie Henderson, Fort Wayne, Indiana