Super useful to have stashed away in your fridge, Labneh accompanies and makes a light, healthy meal of so many things. Popular in the Middle East, this ultra creamy strained yoghurt is rather like cream cheese but with fewer calories and a more refreshing taste. It is extremely easy to make, feels silky in the mouth and has a delicious tang which cuts through richness. Extraordinarily versatile, it can be made savoury or sweet. Take a look at my list lower down this page for some of the many ways to use and love it.
500g full fat Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp. olive oil
Squeeze lemon juice
Half tsp. salt
Take a new dishcloth and, using scissors, cut off one of its stitched sides, you will now have a large bag, perfect for straining. Drape it over a sieve or colander and sit it on top of a bowl to catch the drips.
Mix the ingredients together and spoon into the dishcloth
Gather the cloth together and twist it around the yoghurt to form a ball and leave to strain in the fridge for 12 to 48 hours. The longer you leave it straining, the thicker the labneh. Yoghurts vary and your labneh may be silky and soft, perfect for dolloping and spreading after as little as 6 hours. After 36 to 48 hours it should be solid enough to roll into balls which may be submerged in olive oil and kept in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Additional flavourings such a crushed garlic, chilli, chopped herbs, lemon zest or grated root ginger may be stirred in before straining. More flavourings, for example bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, coriander seeds, can be added to the olive oil with the balls. Furthermore, the balls may be rolled in spices or herbs to serve.
- With fruit for breakfast
- In a sandwich with cucumber and lots of chopped fresh herbs - or try adding to almost any other sandwich filling
- As part of a mezze, drizzled with olive oil and topped with dukkah, with prawns, roast vegetables or olives
- It's delicious on jacket potatoes topped with chives
- It can be stirred into cooked dishes in place of sour cream
- It can be rolled into balls and eaten as a canapé, served softer as a dip or, dredged with icing sugar, it goes wonderfully with Summer berries - you could add chopped stem ginger, or vanilla.
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