What are Bay Leaves Used for? Rachael—a Big Bay Leaf Fan—Answers

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Lots of Rachael's recipes include bay leaves, which come in both dried and fresh forms. (She's a big fan!) So when one viewer asked an excellent question about cooking with bay leaves, Rach had lots to say—and made clear what type she prefers.

What does Rachael use bay leaves for? 

"I love that question!" Rach says. She puts bay leaves in most dishes with a lot of onions, such as an all'Amatriciana pasta sauce. She also loves bay in anything that's braised or stewed. It's great on skewers, too, she says. If you kebab something, you really get that fragrance into every piece of protein that you alternate it with. "Try bay in those dishes and you'll be hooked," Rach says.

Plus, she says it's wonderful and fragrant in mulled cocktails and mulled wine—AND Rach always adds it to bowls of clove-studded oranges during the holidays or you can make wreaths out of it.

Does Rachael use fresh bay leaves or dried bay leaves? 

"Fresh bay leaves taste much richer and more floral than dried bay leaves," Rach says, "so I always buy fresh, which last for weeks."

Pro Tip: Store fresh bay leaves in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel placed in an airtight container.

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