Labneh is a wonderful creamy cheese made from yoghurt. A middle eastern dish that has worked its way across the rest of the world, labneh is versatile and adaptable. Made using Greek yoghurt which has been strained to remove its whey, labneh retains the yoghurts’ distinctive, sour taste – we like to add herbs and spices to the yoghurt and give it that extra boost.
For a simple, basic labneh you will need:
- 1 tub of greek yoghurt, whatever size you want will do, theoretically 0% fat isn’t as good but that’s what we had spare in the fridge and it was delicious.
- The juice of half a lemon
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cheesecloth or thin napkin
- a sieve
- a large bowl
Simply stir the lemon juice and salt in the yoghurt. Line the sieve with the cloth and pour the yoghurt in, place the sieve over a large bowl and put it in the fridge for at least 2 days, the longer you leave it the firmer it will be.
Now that you know the basics let the experimentation begin. The last labneh dish we had, was a cumin spiced labneh, we added a couple of teaspoons of cumin and some pepper, it was delicious. You can add any herbs or spices you like.
To serve, you can be traditional and drizzle a little olive oil over the top, one of the first labnehs we ever tried was drizzled with sweet chilli sauce. Crushed nuts work really well sprinkled on top as well.
Our cumin labneh was made into a kind of deconstructed savoury cheesecake. We topped it with toasted walnuts and some crushed kalamata olive biscuits, finishing it off with pomegranate seeds and parsley.
However you choose to serve it, invite your loved ones to the table, place the labneh in the middle next to some hot bread, carrot sticks, whatever you fancy and watch it disappear.