Food - Drink
Homemade Labneh Requires Only 2 Ingredients
By ERICA MARTINEZ
If you're familiar at all with Middle Eastern cuisine, you probably know that a creamy bowl of labneh is regularly served at meals. At its most basic, labneh is strained yogurt — the longer the yogurt is strained, the thicker it becomes — that has a tangy flavor and is incredibly simple to make.
Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli-born chef with expertise in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, uses two simple ingredients for his labneh. The chef mixes non-Greek, full-fat yogurt and salt together in a bowl before placing the mixture in a colander that has been lined with cheesecloth.
The colander sits over the bowl where the cheesecloth is long enough to cover the top of the yogurt, then Ottolenghi places a couple of heavy cans on top and lets the bowl rest in the refrigerator for up to two days. At this point, most of the moisture will drain into the bowl, and what will be left in the cheesecloth is a rich, thick, creamy ball of labneh.
Once your labneh is ready, you can serve it with drizzled olive oil and za'atar seasoning with pita bread on the side. The labneh can also be used as a base for a variety of dips, as a spread, or in desserts as a substitute for cream cheese.