We were told in high school that Marcel Proust loved his madeleines, because when he would bite into one a flood of childhood memories would overtake him and he would experience bliss…
I am willing to bet that for a large majority of Lebanese expats the feeling is similar when a plate of labneh is presented to them.
Labneh is the first food we’d see as kids on the table before heading to school. It would invariably be presented with a small bowl of olives (homemade by Téta Nabila) and also some fresh bread, some cut-up cucumbers and tomatoes and some fresh mint. Nothing fancy, but oh so comforting~If we didn’t have time to spare, we’d get all this in a wrap (labneh slathered on the bread then sprinkled with olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and mint), and go wait for the school bus holding it and munching.
A rather lavish breakfast with an egg to boot.
Labneh (yogurt cheese)Joumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern January 7, 2009 Eggs/Dairy/Cheese, Mezze/Appetizers, mezze, cheese, breakfast, yogurtcheese,
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Passive Time: 6 hours hours
14 ounces yogurt full-fat preferably
1 tsp salt to taste
3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
Line a sieve (large enough to fit the quantity of yogurt) with either a coffee filter or a paper towel. Dump the yogurt on it and let it sit over a bowl for a few hours until the yogurt gets drained completely of its water, usually a minimum of 6 hours. The bowl can either be placed on a counter or in the fridge covered loosely with plastic wrap. It is O.K to let it sit overnight.
Grab the bowl, dump the water and flip the drained yogurt, now labneh, into a pretty serving dish. With the back of a spoon, draw a circular furrow all around. Pour some extra virgin olive oil in the furrow. It is ready now! Eat with pieces of pita and also, if you wish, fresh mint, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers, some zaatar sprinkled on top.
Note: Best to pick a yogurt sold at Middle-Eastern groceries which will have the proper taste and consistency. Otherwise, pick a yogurt Bulgarian-style or Greek.
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