After making so many soupy posts in sucession, I want to rant about the importance of bay leaves. This is decidedly a “food you need” post.
Bay leaves you can pretty much figure out to use by these rules–Are you making something with liquid excess that you can simmer? If so, like in a rice dish or soup, you can never go wrong with a bay leaf. It will only make the flavor more robust. If you’re making any sort of vegetable, saute them or boil them with a couple bay leaves. It’s like the vegetarian’s flavor infuser. Or even that a Bay leaf is to vegetable broth, like salt if to pepper. In other words–
bay leaf: vegetable broth::salt:pepper
Not only are these little leaves easy to use, but they look pretty in a clear spice jar. I keep mine right on my oven in a glass spice jar, easily accesible and colorful next to the earth tones of seeds in similar spice jars. Pretty and tasteful, what a winning combination.