A Middle-Eastern favourite to jazz up your veggies
You may already be ahead of the curve on this one but I discovered how to make Labneh.
And it’s awesome!
So ridiculously easy, I’m gutted I didn’t discover this years ago.
So, what is labneh?
It’s an Arabic word, pronounced lub-neh.
And is a soft, creamy cheese, that you’ll find a lot of in the Middle East.
It’s used a bit like hummus i.e. on mezze platters with pita bread etc
But is so versatile and can give your veggies a new life at the dinner table.
All you need to do is have some lemon, olive oil, za’atar in your kitchen.
And you’ve got the makings of a great little snack or a tweak to your meal.
The best news… it takes VERY little effort.
What you can do with labneh
I recently read that you can roll thick labneh into balls and leave them to marinate in olive oil – sounds fab.
Or you can flavour with lemon zest and herb oil and leave in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
But my personal favourite (because it’s SO easy).
Is to simply spoon the labneh onto a plate & spread around with the back of a spoon.
Create some dips and grooves and pour good olive oil into them.
Then sprinkle za’atar with a squeeze of lemon.
But the sky is the limit.
Try it with fresh mint, toasted buts, honey, balsamic vinegar, paprika…
You can store labneh in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
But I doubt you’ll have any leftover!
You can make it last a couple of months if you submerge it in olive oil
For that, I’d suggest making those bite-size balls.
You can also freeze it in an airtight container with no airspace for up to six months.
But defrost it slowly in the fridge so maintain a nice texture.
Personally, it’s so simple to make, I’d stick with fresh labneh.
How to make labneh
- Mix the yoghurt, 1 teaspoon salt and lemon zest in a small bowl.
- Then, line a sieve or a colander with a cheesecloth or I used a clean, thin dishcloth.
- Place the colander over a larger bowl and place the yoghurt mixture in the lined colander.
- Now, gather the edges of the cloth and I tied (not that tightly) the corners of the cloth with a string.
- Place in the fridge for 4 – 6 hours to drain (or longer if you want the cheese thicker).
Honey roasted sweet potatoes with labneh
I made this recipe the other night as a little side to my delicious French onion, pigs in blankets casserole.
It went down a treat, even with a teenager!
Just remember to prep the labneh the evening before or early in the morning.
- SERVES: 6
- PREP: 20 min + start the labneh 1st thing in the morning or the night before
- COOK: 40 mins
- 1 – 1.5 kg sweet potato (or I used butternut squash that was hanging around & added less honey)
- 3 tbsp honey, warmed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- flatleaf parsley, chopped (optional)
- green onions, chopped (optional)
- Heat oven to 190 C / 375 F.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into 1.5inch chunks.
- Mix the honey, olive oil, cinnamon, ginger, salt and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
- On a baking tray, lay the sweet potatoes out and drizzle the honey mixture over them.
- Roast, tossing occasionally, for 35-40 minutes in the oven or until tender.
Spread the labneh onto a platter and top with the roasted sweet potatoes.
Drizzle with extra olive oil and sprinkle with parsley, green onions and flaky sea salt to taste.
I hope you have a go at making labneh.
It’s easy, fun and tasty.
And really versatile to use as a little snack or to jazz up a side dish.
If you have other ideas for labneh, leave a comment…
I remember straining things as a youngster with a clean tea towel. However the washing powders and liquids are full of chemicals and perfumed nowadays and I worry that these would transfer to the yogurt. As for muslin I wouldn’t have a clue where to buy it.
Any solutions please?
Thanks for your comment. I’ve done it a few times and haven’t had any chemical flavours/smells transfer into the yoghurt from an All Purpose kitchen cloth. But if you want muslin, I’m pretty sure it’s easy to find on the internet.