I love making my own labneh. While it yoghurt cheese might sound a little boring, trust me, when marinated in quality olive oil it tastes deeeeelicious.
I love making my own labneh. For those who might be a little unsure of what ‘labneh’ is, simply put, it’s yoghurt cheese. So easy to make there is simply no excuse to not try it yourself! While labneh might sound a little boring, trust me, when marinated in quality Australian olive oil it tastes deeeelicious. In fact, I have got so obsessed with the stuff of late and have started adding it to just about anything. Aside from using labneh in the traditional way on mezze and cheese boards, I have been smothering my poached eggs and toast with it in the morning, and slapping it on the ol’ jacket potato. Really, it goes with just about anything!
Prep time: 1-3 days
Marinating Time: 12-24 hours
500g Natural yogurt – try and use a product made locally
2 birds eyes chillies, smashed and bruised
2 sprigs of thyme, bruised
2 garlic cloves, bruised
10 pepper corns
1-2 cups of quality extra virgin Olive Oil – Australian if possible
Fresh bread, olives, pita bread – or chuck it on what ever you please!
Line a sieve with muslin, or a new dish cloth, the knitted mesh sort.
Place yoghurt in the centre, then gather up muslin sides and tie with string or rubber band. You can hang the ball off a wooden spoon, but I find it much easier to leave the ball sitting in the sieve and then place the sieve over a large bowl.
Cover the sieve and bowl with cling film. This stops the yogurt taking on any odors from the fridge. Leave yoghurt to drain in the fridge for a minimum of 1 day or if possible up to 3 days.
Pour away the whey that has drained out, I do this a few times over the 1-3 days as it fills up quite quickly. Remove yoghurt, which has now magically turned to labneh, from the muslin and discard.
Quenelle labneh or roll into walnut sized balls. Lay the balls on a plate and place uncovered in the fridge for a couple of hours. This helps to dry the cheese out a touch.
In a sterilised jar place the chilli, thyme, garlic and peppercorns, then place the labneh balls on top. Cover with the oil and leave to marinate overnight.
The labneh will keep for about a week.
Marinate the labneh with whichever herbs you like best. Keep in mind that hard herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano will work the best. Also, don’t forget that the marinated olive oil can be used to! Use it for salad dressings, drizzle on top of pasta or splash some wherever you use the labneh!