Every now and again, you realise that something is so easy to make that you wonder why you haven’t been making it for years. Over the years many things have made their way into my cooking lexicon on account of them being super simple, and this time I’m adding Labneh to the repertoire.
Labneh is quite simply a cheese made from yoghurt. It is made by draining the whey from yoghurt which results in a thicker consistency that retains yoghurt’s distinctive sour taste. The length of time you strain it determines the end result. Strain it for just 12 hours and you are left with a thick dip-like consistency, but strain it for a couple of days, and you will end up with a more malleable cheese that you can roll into balls and use in a whole raft of ways – rolled in fresh herbs, marinated in oil and aromatics etc. Below, I show you how to make labneh yourself at home.
I recently spent a full Saturday at The Cheesemaking Workshop learning how to make yoghurt, mascarpone, labneh, quark, feta and camembert – a whole lotta cheeses. I had already been experimenting with Labneh before the class, but after, I was inspired to make it at home (with my own homemade yoghurt, but don’t worry you can use store bought) along with this wonderful salad inspired by a similar dish I had at Bar Lourinhã in Melbourne a couple of months ago.
So, instead of just giving you the How To method for making Labneh, today you get two for the price of one as I also bring you a recipe for a Warm Zucchini, Fennel and Labneh Salad which is definitely the best vegetarian salad I’ve ever made.
How to make Labneh
- 500g greek yoghurt
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- Parsley sprigs
Place a sieve over a medium bowl that will fit in your refrigerator and line the sieve with muslin or cheesecloth.
Stir the yoghurt in its pot till it is an even consistency and then pour the yoghurt into the muslin. Gather the edges of the muslin together and tie together over the yoghurt covering it. Place the entire bowl (with sieve, muslin and yoghurt) in your refrigerator and leave the whey to drain for 2-3 days.
Gently squeeze the muslin after 3 days to release any remaining whey and discard the whey from the bowl (use it to water your plants, or use it in place of buttermilk for baking). Open the muslin and roll the cheese into 4cm balls in your hands - makes about 6-8 balls. Place the balls in jars delicately and top with a couple of garlic cloves and some parsley sprigs, then pour over a mixture of 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 vegetable oil into each jar.
Place in the fridge and leave overnight before eating to marinate. Submerged in oil, the labneh will keep for up to 2 months in the fridge.
Warm Zucchini Fennel and Labneh Salad
- 2 fennel bulbs, quarted
- 2 zucchinis, quartered (courgettes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more to serve)
- Parsley sprigs
- Zest 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
- Sea salt flakes
Preheat oven to 180° Celsius (350° Fahrenheit).
Place fennel quarters on a roasting tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes before turning the fennel over and roasting for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium high heat and brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Grill the zucchini quarters on each side until golden charred lines are on all sides.
To serve, place two labneh balls on the bottom of your serving plate and using the back of a spoon spread across the bottom of the dish. Layer the roasted fennel and grilled zucchini on top of the labneh and top with parsley sprigs, lemon zest and almonds. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and serve
Yum! I’ve never made labneh before and I can’t wait to try.
nicole (thespicetrain.com) says
Who would have thought that it was so easy! Not me. Thanks much for sharing, Amanda. By the way, I love that blue background, looks perfect in this photo!
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I haven’t try this recipe.. wanna make a try.. thanks for sharing… 😉
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adele tiberio says
Thank you, so much, Amanda! I never would have thought that yogurt could become cheese! Fennel is such an amazing vegetable – and the grilled zucchini looks wonderful! Your photos are OUTSTANDING. Everything that you share is both unusual and creative. Thank you!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Like that blue background. Like this recipe, too. I’ve never made labneh, and it’s so simple. Truth be told, I almost never make soft cheese — silly of me, isn’t it? Anyway, lovely salad — thanks.
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Kevin | keviniscooking says
Indeed, thanks for simplifying the way to make it. I had always imagined it was a more involved process! The photos are beautiful as is the new blue background – killer shot! From your IG and FB posts Japan seems to be the best of times! Enjoy –
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Oh, labneh. I’ve never tried this one before. Looks interestingly good.
Gourmet Getaways says
For a moment, those lovely eggplants looked like grilled chicken strips! Love it that you shared this healthy, tasty dish. Thanks for sharing!!
Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx
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Helen | Grab Your Fork says
How pretty are your labneh jars! Love the warm salad idea too – fennel is a such a fave of mine.
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Sara | Belly Rumbles says
Loving the salad for using own made labneh or purchased. But as you have shown, so easy to make at home, why would you ever buy it again. Plus homemade is far tastier 🙂
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