Labneh, the quintessential yogurt spread enjoyed by all denizens of the middle east is a huge asset for any kitchen. I was introduced to it shortly after moving to a central IL college town and instantly fell in love. I was just getting over my affinity for putting sour cream on everything and this strained, thick yogurt fills all the holes where sour cream just didn’t fit. Enjoy it spread on freshly baked pitas, a vegetable platter, spread on sandwiches, and atop any savory dish that can be offset by a tart element. There’s lots of opinions on how you can store it and what you can mix it to it. Our favorite way is using fudina (dried mint leaves) and olive oil. I hope you find a way to bring our Homemade Labneh into your kitchen. (procedure courtesy of Food52)
- 1 quart green yogurt – I use Fage 4%
- fine cheesecloth, nutmilk bag, or just an old t-shirt will do!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 T + fudina (dried mint leaves)
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/4 t kosher salt
Line a fine meshed strainer with your cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Mix greek yogurt with a small squeeze of lemon juice and salt. Spoon yogurt over the top and fold the cloth over the yogurt, snugly. Place in the refrigerator and let it set for 12-24 hours. At the 12 hours point, you’ll have the consistency of commercial labneh – after 24 hours, the consistency of Icelandic skyr. The batch pictured sat for about 16 hours. After the yogurt has strained, transfer it back to an airtight container (I just rinse and re-use my yogurt container) and drizzle on your olive oil and fudina. You can choose to mix it to impart the flavors or let it sit on top, it’s truly up to you.
Creator’s Note: Other potential add-ons would be lemon zest, sumac, harissa, and za’atar. Though, I usually opt to sprinkle those on top of any labneh I spread on my pita. Labneh is a great base for creamy dipping sauces and drizzles for kebabs. Soon, I’ll feature my favorite tahini drizzle!