Labneh

September 11th, 2013

cheese1

Labneh is a soft cheese made from yogurt that is commonly eaten in the Middle East.  You can probably find it in a Middle Eastern food market, but it’s SO simple to make (and your dinner guests will be so impressed that you made your own cheese!) that I think you should give it a try.  Start with goat’s milk yogurt.  I was able to find it in Whole Foods…if you cannot find it you can use plain full fat cow’s milk yogurt.  Mix in a bit of salt, transfer into a bowl lined with cheese cloth, tie it into a bundle and let it hang over a bowl for 48 hours (I tied my bundle to one of my kitchen cabinet handles.  You can use it as a spread or roll it into balls and roll the ball in dried mint before serving.  The results were beautiful and delicious!  I used this in my Couscous with Oven Roasted Tomatoes.

 

cheese

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups goat’s milk yogurt (or full-fat cow’s milk yogurt)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 to 1 1/4 cups olive oil

1/3 cup dried mint

freshly ground black pepper

 

Mix the yogurt and salt together in a bowl.  Line a separate large bowl with a piece of cheesecloth.  Transfer the yogurt to the cheesecloth, pick up the edges of the cloth, and tie them together to form a bundle.  Tie the bundle to your faucet or a kitchen cabinet (something you won’t need to use for the next few days!) and place a medium size bowl underneath.  Leave for at least 48 hours.  You can let it hang for an extra day for a bit firmer cheese.

Transfer the cheese to a Tupperware container and place in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.  Once it is chilled, roll the cheese into small balls.

To store the cheese, take a sterilized jar (I used a medium size mason jar).  Pour some of the olive oil inside and gently lay the balls in the oil. Add some more oil and continue with the balls until all the cheese is in the jar and immersed in oil. Seal the jar and keep until needed.  (the cheese will keep in the oil at room temperature for a few weeks.  Before serving, scatter the mint and pepper on a flat plate and roll the balls in it.

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