Labneh is probably one of the absolute basics of Levantine cuisine. There is hardly a table set without this delicious cream cheese. The basic recipe is not only incredibly versatile, but also amazingly easy to prepare. All you need is yoghurt and a pinch of salt. You let the yoghurt drip off overnight in the strainer – the next morning you’ll have Labneh. It’s as simple as that 🙂
The funniest way to prepare Labneh is definitely that of my mother. At some point she misplaced her cloth strainer. Well, it’s nice to know that adversity is also the mother of invention.
So after she searched half the apartment, she disappeared again briefly in the kitchen and then returned to the living room with a mocha and a smile. “Well, did you find the cloth?” I asked. She sipped her mocha carefully and said quite smugly: “No, this cloth can stay wherever it is hidden!” and smiled at me. I thought we would have no Labneh this time, but with a movement of her head towards the kitchen and laughing eyes she hinted that I should have a look.
When I went into the kitchen, I saw the filter holder of the coffee machine standing unfolded. When I came closer, it contained a coffee filter – and yoghurt. Clever! I had to laugh, it was so simple. 😀 I also took a cup of the freshly boiled mocha and sat down with my mother again. We were drinking our mocha when we heard my brother from the kitchen: “What the ‘‘*??? What are you doing!?” – My brother prefers filter coffee…
As said at the beginning – Labneh is very versatile. Traditionally, the cream cheese is drizzled with some olive oil and garnished with Za’atar. Labneh is always accompanied by fresh vegetables, pickled olives and of course fresh flat bread.
By the way, Za’atar is a spice mixture of thyme, roasted sesame, sumac and a pinch of salt. Za’atar is also served pure next to good olive oil. You dip your bread first in the oil and then in the Zatar. The spice mixture is firmly anchored in the Levantine kitchen and should not be missing in any pantry.
Whether with Za’atar, garlic, fresh or dried herbs – Labneh always tastes delicious!
Recipe for Labneh
Ingredients for approx. 400g Labneh
- 500 g Yoghurt (natural with at least 3.5% fat. The higher the fat content, the milder your Labneh becomes)
- 2 pinch Salt
- You will also need a cloth strainer – or a coffee filter 😀
- Put the yogurt in the strainer and leave the whey to drain in the fridge overnight.
- Season the now finished Labneh with a pinch of salt. That’s it 😉
- Tip: You can easily determine the consistency of your Labneh yourself. If you prefer it to be super creamy, don’t let the yoghurt hang out too long. The longer you have the yoghurt in the strainer, the firmer your cream cheese will be.