I discovered labneh not so long ago and have completely fell in love with it. It’s a delicious (and healthier) alternative to cream cheese and it’s so easy to make. Traditionally, this middle eastern yogurt cheese is served as a dip topped with a bit of olive oil and za’atar (a mix of spices and herbs including dried oregano, thyme, and/or marjoram, sumac and toasted sesame seeds), but you can personalize it with any toppings of your choice. Here I served it with roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil for a perfect summer appetizer.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the labneh :
– 500g of quality full-fat cow’s milk yogurt
– 1/4 tsp of salt
For the roasted cherry tomatoes :
– 500g of cherry tomatoes
– 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
– 2 tbsp of olive oil
– salt & pepper
– 6 basil leaves
1. Mix the yogurt with the salt then place it into a muslin cloth on a mesh strainer over a bowl. Let the salted yogurt strain in the fridge for 24 hours.
2. The next day, make the roasted tomatoes. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Reserve a couple of cherry tomatoes to serve raw for the garnish. Add the rest of the cherry tomatoes and the cloves of garlic in a baking dish. Coat with a generous amount of olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and season with salt and pepper. Bake the tomatoes for about 20 minutes until they are burst, then let them cool for 20 minutes.
3. Serve the labneh in a bowl, then add the roasted tomatoes and garlic with a bit of their olive oil, as well as some raw cherry tomatoes cut in half. Season everything again with a bit of salt pepper and finish by adding the basil leaves. Enjoy this delicious dip with any bread of your choice (pita bread, sourdough bread…).