It has been a chaotic few months but we are just about settled in our new house in the country and I have been itching to post something. So, I thought it about time to jump back into tastyshoestring. A simple little recipe to start with and kick things off. Labneh is a cheese made by straining yoghurt allowing the whey to slip away and the yoghurt to thicken until a soft, but tangy cheese is formed. It is so easy to make and versatile too, I am going to show you a basic savoury labneh but you can easily switch it up omitting the salt to create a neutral option that can be used for desserts.
Start with a good quality natural, pot set, full fat yoghurt. The brand I use comes in a 750g tub to which I add 10g/1.5tsp salt but you can play around with the amount and add the salt to suit your taste.
Mix together until smooth.
If you have a jelly bag it is perfect for this, if not don’t worry a simple square of muslin or cheese cloth does the job and can be picked up for a couple of dollars. I use a piece approximately 45x90cm then fold it in half to make a square of 45x45cm double thickness. Drape it over a bowl big enough to take the volume of yoghurt.
Pour in the yoghurt and salt mixture.
Take opposite corners and tie them together, make sure they are secure enough to take the weight the yoghurt.
Next thread the handle of a wooden spoon, skewer or chopstick through the knots and suspend over a high sided mixing bowl or stock pot. It needs to be raised off the bottom of the vessel, so the whey can drip away freely.
Simply cover and set aside for 12-24 hours depending on how firm you want your labneh. I leave mine out on the bench top but you can place it in the fridge if you prefer. The longer you leave it the more whey that drains and the firmer the labneh. Feel free to give it a gentle squeeze while it is in the bag and when you like what you feel it is ready!
Untie the knots and open up the bag.
And there you have it you have made a deliciously creamy, slightly sour, yoghurt cheese. Now to pretty it up and add some zing.
It is delicious on its own but my favourite is to sprinkle a little sumac along with some freshly grated lemon zest and a little drizzle of olive oil.
It is so good simply with some crusty bread or spread it on toast for breakfast and top it with some smoked salmon for a treat on the weekend. Serve it with crudités for a light snack or in a sandwich with some salad.
prep time: 5 mins, Total time 12-24 hours
serves 10, cost per serve $0.25
- 750g/3 cups Full Fat Natural Yoghurt
- 10g/1 1/2tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp sumac (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- Mix the salt and yoghurt together.
- Pour the mixture into a jelly bag or fashion your own using a square of muslin and a wooden spoon or chopstick (see above).
- Leave to drain for 12-24 hours.
- Sprinkle over the lemon zest and drizzle the olive oil then it is ready to serve.
Once made it will keep for a week in the fridge and can be topped or mixed with whatever you fancy. The sumac and lemon zest is just a suggestion, just treat it like you would a tangy cream cheese.