lat. Laurus nobilis
Laurel is an aromatic, evergreen tree or large shrub with green lanceolate shaped leaves and small, yellowish white flowers.
History and Origin
This native Mediterranean plant is probably best known as bay leaf.
Its representative leaves have been a part of the culinary and medicinal world for thousands of years, dating back at least to the times of the ancient Greeks. . In its day, laurel wreaths were a symbol of high status, and were given as prizes at the Pythian Games, a tradition said to have been started by Apollo himself.
The uses of bay leaves are many, they include grinding the leaves into a spice to flavour soups and stews or more commonly – using them in whole form as a flavouring to certain dishes, only to be removed prior to eating or used as a garnish. Whole leaves are not commonly consumed, although extracts of these leaves have numerous medical uses.
They are a widely used as an element in aromatherapy and herbal treatments for various skin and raspatory conditions.
Bay leaves have a strong effect on the gastrointestinal as well as the ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
You can make a shrub into a low-alcohol cocktail called a shim by adding a splash of sparkling wine, vermouth, or your favorite aperitif.
- In a large nonreactive pot (such as stainless steel), combine peaches, sugar, and bay leaves. Let stand 1 hour, stirring a few times.
- Cook over medium heat until warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a bare simmer (do not let boil).
- Remove from heat; let stand at room temperature, uncovered, 24 hours.
- Remove and discard bay leaves. Strain shrub base; reserve pickled peaches (which can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week) for another use. Transfer shrub base to another airtight container; refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 month.
- Fill glasses halfway with ice. Top with 1 part shrub base and 4 to 5 parts sparkling water. Stir once; garnish with more bay leaves and fresh peaches, if desired. Serve immediately.
Recepie from: marthastewart.com