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labneh

August 6, 2011

the first time i tasted labneh, i hated it. so salty! such a weird texture! so… yogurty!

now i crave it.

recipe:
make yogurt (or buy it, whatever.)

pour it into a bowl with salt. squeeze a lemon into it and add a little zest.
flavor it. fresh herbs (mint? parsley?), garlic, sprouts, olive oil, whatever. stir it up. let it sit a few minutes.

line a colander with cheesecloth or muslin and set it in a big bowl.
pour the mixture in, let it drip for ten minutes (or however long, doesn’t matter,) then gather the edges and let it hang and drip whey into the bowl.

(i read recently that sometimes people line a colander with paper towels instead of cheesecloth and let it sit in there instead of hanging it. i’ve never tried it. i like cheesecloth because it’s reusable.)

drain for any amount of time you want. an hour should be sufficient for wet, spreadable labneh, perfect as a cream cheese substitute. two days should work for storage – roll the labneh into small balls, and store in olive oil with a sprig of thyme, a few cloves of garlic, or whatever you like.

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