Labneh is yet another popular and trending Middle Eastern ingredient that is making waves around the world as Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine expands its delicious reach.
But what is labneh (other than delicious)?
Labneh is a strained cheese originating in the Levant. It is commonly found in Turkish, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Israeli cuisines. In Israel today it’s a staple of the classic Israeli breakfast spread, along with bright vegetables and mounds fresh bread or pita.
This creamy cheese is very versatile — it pairs perfectly with roasted vegetables, it can be turned into dessert, spread on top of toast, and also makes a great dip for veggies or pita. Drizzle it with olive oil and za’atar, sumac, or a little hot pepper for a nice kick. Of course, it’s delicious, but it’s also good for you — high in protein and also a natural probiotic (which means it’s good for your digestion) so you can feel good about noshing a healthy portion.
Labneh is not always the easiest ingredient to find in grocery stores in the United States (yet), but it is so simple to make. All you need is full-fat Greek yogurt, some cheesecloth, and salt. Oh, and a little patience too, because it will need to sit overnight. Here is our VERY simple recipe to try.
Once you have your labneh, you may want to have some fun cooking with it. So here are a few of our favorite recipes to get you started:
Seven Layer Salad with Labneh Poppy Seed Dressing
Labneh and Fig Tart with Olive Oil Crust