Labneh is a traditional Middle Eastern cheese that is made by straining yogurt to remove the whey, creating a thick and creamy consistency. It is often flavored with herbs, spices, or other ingredients and served as a dip or spread.
Labneh is popular in many countries in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Syria. It is typically made at home, and many families have their own variations and traditions for preparing it. In some regions, labneh is made by hanging the yogurt in a cheesecloth and allowing it to drain naturally, while in other places it is made using a sieve or colander as described in the recipe below.
Labneh is often served as part of a meze platter, a selection of small dishes that are shared and eaten as an appetizer or snack. It is also commonly used as a topping for sandwiches or wraps, or as a filling for pastries and savory pies.
Homemade Labneh Recipe
Labneh is a delicious and easy-to-make cheese that adds a tangy and creamy flavor to any meal. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, making it a great addition to any recipe.
- 1 quart plain yogurt (whole milk or low-fat)
- salt, to taste
- optional: herbs, spices, or flavorings (such as dill, garlic, or za’atar)
- Line a fine-mesh sieve or colander with cheesecloth or a clean, thin dish towel. Place the sieve over a bowl to catch the drained liquid.
- Pour the yogurt into the sieve and spread it out evenly. Cover the sieve with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 48 hours. The longer it drains, the thicker and firmer the labneh will be.
- After the desired amount of time has passed, remove the sieve from the refrigerator and discard the liquid that has drained into the bowl. Gently gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist it to squeeze out any remaining liquid.
- Transfer the labneh to a bowl and stir in a pinch of salt, along with any optional herbs, spices, or flavorings. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Serve the labneh chilled, with crackers, bread, or vegetables for dipping. It can also be used as a spread or topping for sandwiches, wraps, or other dishes.
In summary, labneh is a traditional Middle Eastern cheese made by straining yogurt to create a thick and creamy consistency. It is often flavored with herbs, spices, or other ingredients and served as a dip or spread. Labneh is popular in many countries in the Middle East, and it is typically made at home. It is often served as part of a meze platter or used as a topping for sandwiches or wraps. This homemade labneh recipe is easy to make and allows you to customize the flavor to your liking.
Give it a try and add a delicious and authentic touch to your meals.