Homemade Labneh Recipe

Homemade Labneh Recipe

I’ve been straining yogurt, aka making labneh, quite a lot lately. Labneh is an Arabic yogurt cheese often made by draining yogurt. But I started making it increasingly often without receiving a package from Jaipur, India. The package was cloth-covered and hand-stitched at the seams. My write was in massive woebegone penmanship. It was the most intriguing package I’ve received via post in recent memory, sent by my friend Melissa. (Some of you might remember) I met her without sitting lanugo for lunch at the Anokhi Cafe. Melissa runs the cafe, and we hit it off from there.
labneh in a white trencher on a marble countertop

Special Equipment: A Good Strainer

I remember Melissa telling me well-nigh her favorite strainer. She described it as an unattractive plastic piece of crap, but one that does a fantastic job on the yogurt front. She sent me one (pictured below)! And she was right, this strainer has a very fine, double lining, which allows the liquid whey to spritz from the yogurt leaving a thick silky white yogurt surf overdue – perfect for spreading, rolling, and blending. It is a Krishna trademark “Marvel/Super Delux” and nonflexible to find online for some reason.

If you don’t have a friend who will mail you one like the strainer pictured below, no worries! Multiple people in the comments love this Cuisipro Yogurt Cheese Maker. For example, in the comments, Patrice is a pro and has some unconfined insight related to this strainer, “I’ve been making labneh for well-nigh 25 years and I veritably LOVE it! I have two of them considering I often have increasingly than one batch straining. Oh, and I never use Greek Yogurt for my labneh… the texture just seems not right. My favorite at the moment is the Brown Cow yogurt which I get at Whole Foods. I love all of the suggestions for using labneh. I use it just well-nigh anywhere that surf or sour surf is tabbed for, but of course, just as a dip (lots of herbs and sea salt) is as good as it gets!”

Lee said, “made my first labneh this week using the cusipro-donvier strainer that I purchased from Amazon. It was no muss, no fuss and the container fits hands in the refrigerator and cleans up very easily. We had kalamata olive specie slathered with it with chopped arugula and some Za’atar I made. It was marvelous !!!”

And many people simply use a traditional handkerchief or fine cotton cloth, a wipe pillowcase, or a couple layers of cheese cloth. Nitza mentions, “ I just use a colander lined with a paper coffee filter and a trencher underneath to reservation the liquid. I’ve moreover used my “Pour over” ceramic coffee filter (with #2 or #4 filter paper) and the mug transmissible the drippings. I leave it in the fridge at night, have it in the morning or later.” All in all a bit increasingly messy, but they’ll all do the job!

yogurt stuff strained into a trencher to make labneh

What To Do With The Whey?

Before we spitball ideas related to labneh, let’s talk well-nigh whey. The liquid that drains off the yogurt in the labneh process is whey. And it is a wonderful, nutritious by-product and ingredient. Don’t throw it out. You can do all sorts of things with it. You can alimony whey in the refrigerator for a week or so. And vastitude that, it freezes well.

Some ideas:

  • I like to use leftover whey from the ricotta making process as well. It can be used as a wiring for soup, like a broth. Just season and spice it to your liking. I expressly like to make it spicy and then bladder stuffed pastas or dumplings in it and top with lots of chopped herbs.
  • In the comments, Linda mentions, “I use the whey from making goat cheese for the liquid in specie and quick specie recipes.”
  • Norma suggests to us, “use it in cornbread and pancakes, soups and smoothies.”
  • Love this suggestion from Arti, “We mix yoghurt when into the whey ( to the desired thickness) and add salt, some finely chopped cilantro and untried chillies to get a lovely spicy buttermilk. However it’s tasty plane without the chillies if you don’t like the spice.”
  • Kate suggests a momentum lanugo the fermentation lane, “make lacto-fermented kimchi, salsa, mustard, and many other things. Just search for “lacto-fermented recipes” and lots of options will pop up.”

labneh smeared into a piece of sourdough and topped with an egg and other ingredients

Ways To Enjoy Labneh

Ok, let’s do this! There are a million ways to enjoy labneh. Some traditional, others not so much. I’m going to share all the things I made with my last round of labneh. Then I’ll jump into some of your wondrous ideas. And vastitude that, I’ll highlight a few ideas from favorite cookbooks and authors.

  • The whilom open-faced sandwich was on of the first things I made – a fast A lunch. Thin toasted bread, a layer of labneh, pan-fried hedgehog mushrooms, poached egg, shredded radicchio and tarragon, sea salt.
  • Smashed a few threads of saffron with brown sugar in a mortar and pestle widow a bit of labneh, and used it to fill pitted dates.
  • Spread wideness a shallow bowl, drizzled generously with olive oil, fragrant Mexican oregano crumbled wideness the top, served with toasted pita wedges.
  • Shaped into small balls, rolled in za’atar, drizzled with lots of olive oil.
  • Served a dollop slantingly an asparagus frittata with loads of fresh herbs and a drizzle of lemon olive oil.
  • Slice of rye toast, bit of salted butter, layer of labneh, layer of jam.
  • I’ve made it with less salt and used it as a trappy frosting. It kind of ends up stuff in the realm of a surf cheese frosting. Sweeten the labneh with honey, sugar, sifted powdered sugar, etc – whatever your preference.

Labneh Ideas: From the Comments

There is so much unconfined inspiration and knowledge in the scuttlebutt section lanugo below. I’m pulling a few to highlight here, but swoop in for increasingly ideas. And alimony subtracting as well! Please requite a shout in the comments if you make labneh or strained yogurt and do interesting things with it!

  • Nina mentioned, “One of our favorite ways is spreading on rye specie (plain or toasted), topping with thinly sliced cucumbers or radishes. It is simple and wonderful. Unconfined without a trip to the gym, expressly in summer time.”
  • If you have wangle to goat milk yogurt, Ioanna enthusiastically weighs in, “goat Labneh is heavenly! If you can find goat yogurt or make your own, you need to strain it a lot longer and you’ll have the traditional goat Labneh (here we strain it in a special cheesecloth bag hung over the sink). It is then either shaped in small balls dipped in olive oil or in logs. It is very tangy, and usually saltier, composite with a generous value of olive oil surpassing degustation.” Sheep milk is pearly game as well.
  • Megan C notes that she likes it as an volitional to ricotta in lasagna.
  • Another person in the comments mentioned this, “by subtracting onions, yellow chilli powder, corriander leaves, saffron threads, roasted chick pea flour, sugar, salt, cardamom powder & garam masala to it. Shape them into thick roundels & shallow fry on non-stick pan till golden brown on both sides.”

Labneh Inspiration from My Cookbook

  • In the comments Gemma mentioned, “there’s an wondrous recipe for spiced labneh in the Moro cookbook. It uses fenugreek seeds, untried chile, garlic and nigella seeds. It’s incredible, I recommend you seek it out! I usually make it that way but sometimes shape some into balls and roll them in something (cumin seeds/rosemary and garlic) and alimony them covered in olive oil in a jar in the fridge.
  • Colu Henry unprotected my sustentation in Easy Fancy Food with her Lemon Curd Labneh Popsicles. She calls them, “a tart, lemony wordplay to a Creamsicle.”
  • In the NOPI cookbook Yotam weighs in with a smoked labneh! If you have a stovetop smoking (or a smoking donabe), this is one to try. The smoked labneh is served with victual carrots and mung beans withal with well-done pita. Flavors like mint, caraway and thyme moreover represent.
  • If it’s peak summer and you’re reading this, take the recipe on page 73 of Suzanne Goin’s The A.O.C. Cookbook for a spin. It’s heirloom tomatoes with marinated labneh, purslane, and untried harissa.
  • There’s a labneh cheesecake in Sami Tamimi’s Falastin. It features roasted apricots, cardamom, orange floweret water, and orange zest.
  • Diana Henry wrote a typesetting years ago, Crazy Water Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa. I’ve been making a labneh-centric recipe (Bulgar and Spinach Pilaf with Labneh and Chili Roast Tomatoes) from it for the largest part of twenty years. She has you bring all the components of this Turkish dish together over bulgar, but I’ve  enjoyed it over couscous, stuffed pastas, and orzo.
  • And, Carla Lalli Music includes a trappy fruit compote with labneh, maple syrup, and olive oil in Where Cooking Begins.

Please let me know any other labneh faves in the comments below! Let’s alimony this going.

labneh smeared into a piece of sourdough and topped with an egg and other ingredients

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