Labneh is a Middle Eastern style cheese made out of plain yogurt. The consistency of it is very much like cream cheese. It is healthy and delicious and a great snack or dip. It’s the easiest thing to make, all you need to do is drain the whey out of the yogurt (over night) and that’s it!
Let’s talk about the toppings for a minute. Good quality extra virgin olive oil is a must, the rest is up to you. Some people like to add cucumbers. Very refreshing specially in the summer.
I like to add za’atar which is a blend of herbs and sesame seeds and Sumac which is a type of berry that has been dried and ground, very popular in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a beautiful tart flavor. Both ingredients have become more popular in the US and are easy to find. It’s good to try new ingredients and experiment. Who knows, you might find an ingredient that will rock your kitchen. If you can’t find these ingredients, chopped fresh herbs can do the trick as well as a drizzle of lemon juice and paprika.
32oz container Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Place 3 layers of cheesecloth in colander set over a bowl. Add the yogurt and bring the sides of the cheesecloth together and tie it with string. I usually hang it above the sink with the help of a wooden spoon for 4 hours and then right before I go to bed, I transfer it to the refrigerator to continue the draining process. Be sure to put a bowl underneath to catch the whey. Refrigerate for 24 hours. The consistency should be like a soft cream cheese. Transfer the cheese to a serving plate, spread it and sprinkle salt fist and then add toppings. It should stay good for up to a week, well covered. It may get a bit sour as time passes but it’s ok. Enjoy it with warm flat bread.