50g fresh, clean bay leaves
300g (330ml) cold-pressed sunflower oil

This highly flavoured, aromatic oil has many applications and its therapeutic nature aids digestion and soothes nerves. You can use it to make a fantastic version of salsa verde by combining finely chopped herbs with a 50/50 ratio of bay leaf oil and olive oil, along with a little wine or flavoured vinegar to balance the acidity.

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1.Place a large cast-iron pan over a high heat.
2.Once very hot, place 6-8 bay leaves, shiny side up, into the pan.
3.The edges will start to char after about 30-60 seconds.
4.Turn the leaves over so they are shiny side down; they will start to crackle and pop and char.
5.Do not leave them too long; you are aiming for scorch marks, not to burn them.
6.Remove leaves to a bowl and allow to cool completely while you repeat the process with the remaining leaves.
7.Put the oil in a high-speed blender along with the cooled, charred bay leaves and blend at high speed for 2 minutes.
8.Place a fine sieve lined with muslin over a bowl or jug.
9.Pour in the flavoured oil and leave to drain through for about 30 minutes.
10.Transfer to a bottle or container ready for use.

Recipes & food styling Russell Holder / Photography Manja Wachsmuth

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