Hey LAIC Readers! Sorry for the disappearing act. I had to run to the West Coast for a last minute trip, so I haven’t been able to spend much time in my kitchen. Luckily, though, I stayed with some family who spends a lot of time in their kitchen, and I was able to learn some tricks along the way. As I’ve mentioned, part of my family hails from the Middle East, so I’ve been eating hummus and falafel before I could speak. But when my cousin served me some of his homemade labne, something I’ve never made before, I was hooked. It was de-li-cious!
(Photos taken via Iphone)
Of course I needed the recipe, so he offered me a small tutorial. It’s so easy and I am excited to share it with you.
Take a 32 oz tub of full-fat plain yogurt (no fat-free for us!) and strain the yogurt over night via a thin dish towel. All of the liquid will exit, leaving a thicker type of yogurt to use. Note: Do not use Greek yogurt. Any regular Dannon-type will work just fine. I asked my cousin about the sanitary issues (won’t dairy spoil over night?) but he said that he’s never had a problem.
Once the yogurt is ready, salt to taste and add spices. My cousin uses crushed mint and za’atar, but you can include anything you’d like. Za’atar can be found in any Middle Eastern market (Curry: India like Za’atar: Israel), but I bet Whole Foods has it too.
Once finished, pour a good olive oil over the labne, toast some bread or pita and serve. You spread the labne onto the bread, much like a cream cheese, and have it for breakfast or snack. It’s both light, yet indulgent. Might also make for a good party dip. Fresh vegetables, like shown above, complete the plate and add a nice garnish as well. Enjoy!