Labneh (LEB-neigh) – chances are you’ve seen the word plastered over hipster menus and all over Instagram for the past few years. Nothing more than strained yoghurt, it’s a bit of wonder how Labneh came to be such a culinary celebrity. Of course it is utterly delicious as most Middle Eastern foods are; thick, creamy and tangy, its texture is similar to cream cheese and can be used in place of it.

Don’t bother buying Labneh as it carries its own hipster-tax so is often extortionately overpriced, make your own instead for a fraction of the price and effort of trying to find it in the shops. Labneh is as versatile as cream cheese; spread it on toast with a layer of tangy cherry on top, roll it into balls and marinate it in jars of olive oil and herbs or serve it simply as I do here, in a bowl with a healthy glut of olive oil, herbs, spices and a pile of flatbread on the side.

I use and strain my own homemade Kefir to make Labneh in order to amp up the probiotic content. Use full fat natural yoghurt, not Greek yoghurt as an alternative if you haven’t got Kefir to have/ have no idea what Kefir is.

Kefir Labneh

Kefir Labneh

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Course: SidesCuisine: Middle EasternDifficulty: Easy

Use homemade Kefir to make your own Labneh in order to amp up the probiotic content, or simply use full fat natural yoghurt to make this delicious Middle Eastern Treat

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk Kefir or full-fat natural yoghurt

  • 1/2 tsp maldon sea salt

  • extra virgin olive oil, to finish

  • sumac/ Za’atar, nigella seeds, pomegranate arils, fresh mint, coriander, chopped pistachios, to garnish (pick & choose)

Directions

  • Line a fine-mesh sieve with a couple of layers of damp cheesecloth, a super clean tea towel or a fine mesh nylon straining bag, Set it over a large bowl.
  • Mix the Kefir/ yoghurt with the salt and pour it into the lined sieve. Allow it to drain for 24 hours in the fridge (or on a cool countertop).
  • Transfer the strained Labneh to a jar and store in the fridge. Alternatively, garnish with your topping and devour immediately!

Serve with the most popular recipe on this website, my two ingredient flatbread – perfect as Labneh scooping devices!

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