Labneh is a tangy Middle Eastern cream cheese that is silkier than the cheese you have on bagels. It’s equally at home under a pile of fresh vegetables in the morning as it is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za’atar and lapped up with a happy-hour flatbread. If you live someplace fancy like New York or San Francisco (or actually maybe any place that has a Whole Foods), perfectly respectable labneh is a grocery store trip away, but yada-yada-living-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, we make our own.
And, okay, full disclosure: I don’t always have my act together to accomplish the two steps it takes to prepare labneh the night before, so I often catch myself calling plain full-fat Greek yogurt labneh. With a bit of salt, they’re nearly interchangeable; but going the extra mile and draining your already-drained yogurt will yield a sturdier spread that’s more worthy of the title of “cheese.”
- Prep Time
- Makes just under 2 cupsServings
- 1 quart plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice as desired, for serving
- Pita, for serving
1. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, salt, and lemon juice. Line a sieve with three layers of cheesecloth and place the sieve over a large bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth and set the bowl in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, emptying the liquid in the bowl as needed.
2. If you’re not using it in a recipe, you can serve it on its own. Top with a big splash of olive oil and additional seasoning and serve with pita.
3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe posted with permission from Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm.