Making labneh at home could not be easier. All you have to do is pour some yogurt in a cheese cloth and let that strain for a few hours. Once your yogurt is done straining, you’ll be left with this tangy creamy cheese that can be used to make dips, cheesecakes and all sorts of dairy recipes. The labneh dips are so quick to make, versatile and so easily customizable, making them the perfect Shavuot starter!
FOR THE LABNEH:
900 grams full fat yogurt (32 oz)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
FOR THE TOPPINGS:
2 tablespoons honey or date honey
1/3 cup tahini
vanilla, cinnamon or any warm spices of choice
5-7 sprigs fresh rosemary or herb of your choice
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
zest of half of a lemon
*olives, sumac and za’atar are also a really nice addition!
Place a strainer over a large bowl. Line the strainer with cheesecloth, a thin linen kitchen towel or any kind of similar fabric.
Mix the salt into the yogurt and pour all the yogurt in the cheesecloth. Secure the cheesecloth containing the yogurt by tying it.
Time to let the liquid drain. At this point it’s a matter of personal preference: do you want a loose, sour cream like labneh? Let it drain for about 4-6 hours. Are you looking for a mascarpone cheese like texture? Let it drain for 10-12 hours, or overnight. Do not be afraid to check on it to see what its consistency looks like!
If you are wondering where to let the cheese strain, put your bowl – sieve – cheesecloth system in the fridge.
Once your labneh is ready, simply add dollops of it onto the serving plate. Create some swirls into it using a spoon or a spatula.
If you are making the sweet dip, simply drizzle the honey and tahini on top of the labneh, then, sprinkle the pomegranate, chopped dates, sesame seeds, the spices of your choice and flakey salt on top.
If you are going for the herb oil labneh dip, finely mince the garlic and all the herbs (reserving one sprig for plating) and mix them with salt and olive oil. Drizzle the mixture on top of the labneh, zest half of a lemon on it and top it all off with more salt, pepper and other spices of your choice.
Serve the dips with warm pita bread, crackers or a crudite platter.
Carolina Gelen ia a software programmer living the life of a recipe developer who’s main goal is making kosher food more approachable, while also refining our favorite kosher dishes. Check her out on Instagram @carolinagelen