Last weekend we were in a bit of a rush having arisen late, yet some fortification was required by the gorgeous J before tackling the long list of chores set aside for
me us. Breakfast does not always have to be all about bacon and eggs so I quickly grilled a pack of pancetta, toasted Friday nights leftover ciabatta and brought out the trusty tub of labneh that is always in our fridge for such emergencies. A sprinkle of fresh oregano from the garden and an instant snack was ready in the time it took the Moka to espress 2 coffees. As if on cue, young Zackster arrived as I finished plating the food to check if we needed any help finishing the pancetta.
A couple of weeks ago I also posted a recipe that used labneh so I thought I better tell you how to make your own as it is so simple. Labneh is strained yoghurt and is eaten throughout the middle east and parts of the mediterranean. It has the consistency of cream cheese with a tangy yoghurt flavour and, of course less fat than cream cheese. You will need a piece of cheese cloth or even better if your loving mother can make a bag out of cheese cloth for you to use.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt to 1 litre of low fat yoghurt. Mix well and place in the cloth bag. Hang up over night to drain and in the morning your labneh is ready. Place into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
– If you don’t have a bag then place a pice of cloth in a bowl. Pour in the yoghurt and pull up the corners and tie well
– Place a bowl underneath or hang over the sink as quite a lot of whey will come out of the bag
– You can flavour the labneh with various herbs or spices such as thyme, oregano, black pepper, dukka or zaatar
– If you want to make balls of labneh then allow to drain for 2 days to ensure the labneh is thick enough to roll and hold its shape. Roll a dollop between your palms, toss into a tub of your chosen coating and then place into a container with olive oil
– Fat free yoghurt works just as well if you really must
– Not all brands of yoghurt drain equally well and I find WW Ayrshire to be the best
– Don’t skip the drizzle of oil on top as this helps preserve the labneh in the fridge
– It should keep for up to 2 weeks but we have not been able to test this yet as it is always eaten long before that
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world – John Muir