Although Labneh is often referred to as Lebanese cream cheese, it is more of a soft “yogurt-cheese” in my book. You get the wonderful yogurt tang and all the healthy elements plus the benefit that it can withstand relatively high cooking temperatures. It also looks pretty on a plate, is super creamy and packed with protein.
It is such a wonderful, versatile ingredient and sò simple to make – you should really give this middle eastern specialty a try!
Use it as a spread with honey and nuts, as an added protein element to salads, to brighten up your cheese- or antipasto platter or simply have it with fruit. It can also be stirred into curries / middle eastern dishes at the last minute for a creamy effect and is a perfect partner to almost any cooked greens and legumes.
You only need 2 ingredients:
- 1L plain yogurt. I find that my home made yogurt takes longer to strain than shop bought, and prefer to use double cream (full fat) yogurt for this dish.
- A large pinch of salt , preferably flaky salt like Maldon.
How you do it:
- Stir the salt into the yogurt.
- Place a large sieve over a container to catch up the liquids.
- Line the sieve with cheesecloth / chux cloth / a tea towel with some cloth hanging over the sides.
- Pour the yogurt into the cloth-lined sieve.
- Gather the corners of the cloth together, give it a tight twist and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- **I do not discard the liquid, and use it in baking or smoothies**
Spoon the lovely fresh Labneh into blows and crown with some good olive oil, fresh herbs and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
OR roll into small balls. Refrigerate the balls, uncovered for another two hours to dry out some more.
Place the balls in sterilised jar, add a few sprigs of herbs and a clove or two of garlic, cover with olive oil, seal and store for up to 4 months.
OR roll them in some Black pepper, Sumac, dried chilli flakes, Dukkah, finely grated lemon peel, chopped fresh herbs or nuts and store in the fridge for up to two days. Drizzled with some olive oil, this is my favourite way of serving these embellished beauties.