If you follow this blog, you know that cheese is my weakness. I can do without dessert, but if I see cheese… well, I have to have some! After making home made yogurt, I had to try my hands at making home made labneh. I had seen a picture of it on my friend Sawsan’s facebook page and that was it! I couldn’t even wait for her to post her recipe as my yogurt was in the fridge waiting (and so was my tummy… not in the fridge, but waiting that is… hehehehe). So I did some research and got my first answer: labneh is strained yogurt with salt. How much salt to add is more or less up to you. I added ½ tsp per litre of yogurt, but my guess is that it depends on how salty your yogurt is. I can tell you one thing: if you like cream cheese, you will love labneh. It is very similar in consistency, yet it tastes so much better than cream cheese! And it is very healthy too… in the end, it is just strained yogurt. You can serve it with extra virgin olive oil, herbs or spices and some bread. I love mine with black olives… I just can’t get enough of it. Also, if you want to check out Sawsan’s recipe and see some beautiful pictures, you can find them here. Enjoy!
1 lt – 4 cups yogurt (I used home made, but store bought works just as fine)
½ tsp salt or to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Herbs (mint, basil, parsley) or Spices (sumac, za’atar…) – optional
Line a colander with a cheese cloth and put it on top of a big bowl. Pour the yogurt in and stir in the salt. Bring the four corners of the cheese cloth together and twist it to squeeze out the whey over the bowl. Do that until it drips less, then tie the top of the cloth just above the yogurt with string and put it back in the strainer. Put the strainer inside a big bowl (make sure the strainer does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and put it in the fridge. Let it drain for at least 12 hours (I have kept it up to 24 hours, this will depend on how thick your yogurt was, so just check it!).
And there you have, your home made Labneh!
Now you can either serve it immediately or store it. If you want to serve it immediately, just transfer it to a bowl, stir in some extra virgin olive oil and herbs/spices (optional) and serve it with some bread. If you want to store the labneh, make some little balls out of it and put them in an air tight container (you can also add herbs to it). Cover the cheese with extra virgin olive oil and put the container in the fridge.
I LOVE to eat this with Arab bread and black olives! I find it very hard to stop myself from finishing all of it!!!