THIS WEEK­END

make lab­neh

Cuisine - - THE MAKER -

LAB­NEH IS A THICK yo­ghurt cheese that can be used for both savoury and sweet dishes. I use a nat­u­ral unsweet­ened yo­ghurt, ide­ally a Greek style as it takes less time to drain. The salt is es­sen­tial for pre­serv­ing the lab­neh for any length of time – al­though if you’re plan­ning to use it within the week, you could omit it. The left­over whey can be used in smooth­ies, pancake bat­ter and the like.

LAB­NEH

1kg thick-Greek style yo­ghurt 1 tea­spoon sea salt Line a sieve with cheese­cloth, mix the yo­ghurt and salt to­gether and pour into the cheese­cloth. Fold over the edges of the cheese­cloth, and strain over a bowl in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Use as is if us­ing straight away, or form into lab­neh balls as de­scribed at right of page.

Chicken fat­toush salad Shred any left­over chicken and put into a salad with chopped cu­cum­ber, tomato and radishes. Cut pita or bread into wedges, brush with olive oil and bake un­til crisp. Make a dress­ing of sumac, pomegranate mo­lasses (or any left­over chicken juices) and ex­tra vir­gin olive oil. Com­bine to­gether and dol­lop with some lab­neh.

Fried eggs with harissa, lab­neh &

dukkah For a quick break­fast (or a latenight sup­per), mix to­gether lab­neh with harissa to taste. Fry eggs in olive oil with a few fresh thyme sprigs and serve on top of the harissa lab­neh, scat­tered with dukkah. If you have to hand a spicy tomato and puy lentil sauce, then you have the mak­ings of a meal par ex­cel­lence.

ROASTED NEC­TARINES, HON­EYED LAB­NEH &

PIS­TA­CHIOS Roast halved nec­tarines (or other stone­fruit) with some caster su­gar, ground car­damom and a splash of wa­ter or brandy. Mix lab­neh with honey to taste. Put a gen­er­ous dol­lop of the lab­neh on plates, add some nec­tarines and a lit­tle of the cook­ing syrup (or ex­tra honey if there isn’t much syrup) and serve with chopped pis­ta­chios.

LAB­NEH BALLS WITH HERBS

& SPICES Roll strained lab­neh into wal­nut-sized balls, put into ster­ilised jars and cover with olive oil (if you like, you could add herbs to the oil). Re­frig­er­ate un­til re­quired. Re­move the balls from the oil and roll in your pre­ferred mix. In the photo I’ve used za’atar; dried mint; toasted se­same seeds and chilli flakes; and finely chopped dill. Dukkah is another favourite, but try it too with sumac or finely chopped nuts. De­li­cious smeared on crack­ers or bread or with raw veg­eta­bles.

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