Labneh is a creamy, tangy, Middle Eastern cheese made from yoghurt. It can be used in an array of dishes – made into cheesecake, is delicious with fruit (especially figs), and is perfect for platters. It can be substituted for cream cheese and has about half of the fat and calories.
You can buy it at speciality stores or make your own as it’s super easy. All you need to do is add salt and a little lemon to Greek yoghurt and strain until it loses most of its liquid. You’ll be left with a delicious, creamy, slightly tangy cheese.
Traditionally a part of Lebanese cuisine, try it with fresh warmed pita bread; drizzle over a good quality olive oil and sprinkle with za’atar. Or try it on top of a home made waffle topped with fresh fruit and honey.
To keep it longer you can rolled it into balls, then marinated in a jar of seasoned olive oil with za’tar and herbs (thyme and rosemary work well).
Or better yet, try this decadent sounding recipe for Labneh cheesecake with honeyed figs!
How To Make Labneh
200g Greek yogurt (1 small tub)
1 pinch salt
1/4 tsp lemon juice
Mix together all of the ingredients and tip into a doubled over cheesecloth sat in a sieve. Place over a bowl, fold the cheesecloth over the mixture and refrigerate 12-24 hours, the longer the firmer it will become.
When you are happy with the texture, gently squeeze out any excess liquid and remove from the cheesecloth. Store in an airtight jar or use right away.
The end result of your Labneh will depend on the quality of your Greek yoghurt and how long you leave it straining, the longer the thicker and creamier the cheese.