home­made labne

There’s a lot to love about labne, the creamy yo­ghurt cheese cre­ated by sim­ply strain­ing nat­u­ral yo­ghurt – that’s all there is to it! Make your own, then use it in our easy recipes.

donna hay - Fresh + Light - - Contents - pho­tog­ra­phy CHRIS COURT styling AM­BER DE FLORIO

Fol­low our step-by-step guide to cre­at­ing this pro­tein-rich yo­ghurt cheese, then use it in sweet and savoury dishes

ba­sic labne

1kg nat­u­ral Greek-style (thick) yo­ghurt Line a medium bowl with a dou­ble layer of fine muslin. Place the yo­ghurt in the muslin, gather the edges to en­close and use kitchen string to se­cure.

Tie the string around a long wooden spoon and bal­ance the spoon on the rim of a large jar or bowl to sus­pend the yo­ghurt, mak­ing sure the muslin doesn’t touch the bot­tom of the con­tainer. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours or un­til the labne is firm.

Re­move the labne from the muslin, dis­card­ing the ex­cess liq­uid. Store in an air­tight con­tainer in the fridge for up to 1 week. MAKES 2 CUPS.

mar­i­nated chilli sumac labne balls

1 tea­spoon dried chilli flakes

1 ta­ble­spoon sumac

1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

1 tea­spoon finely grated lemon rind, plus 6 strips lemon rind 2 tea­spoons sea salt flakes

2 cups (560g) labne (yo­ghurt cheese, see recipe, page 24) 1 cup (250ml) ex­tra vir­gin olive oil toasted pita bread, to serve Place the chilli, sumac, mint, grated lemon rind and salt in a large bowl and toss to com­bine.

Roll ta­ble­spoons of the labne into balls and place on a tray lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Freeze for 20 min­utes to firm up. Gen­tly toss the balls in the herb mix­ture to coat. Place in a jar or air­tight con­tainer, add the lemon rind strips and cover with the oil. Serve with the pita bread. MAKES 14. Tip: You can store the mar­i­nated labne in an air­tight con­tainer in the re­frig­er­a­tor for up to 2 weeks.

herby pea smash with labne

2 cups (280g) frozen peas, thawed

2 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped chives sea salt and cracked black pep­per

1 cup (280g) labne (yo­ghurt cheese, see recipe, page 24) 4 slices whole­grain toast

¼ cup dill sprigs, chopped snow pea ten­drils and ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, to serve Place the peas, chives, salt and pep­per in a large bowl and gen­tly crush with a fork.

Di­vide the labne be­tween the toast slices and top with the pea smash, dill and snow pea ten­drils. Driz­zle with oil to serve. SERVES 4.

ginger honey labne with caramelised pineap­ple and co­conut crumb

½ cup (175g) honey

2 tea­spoons finely grated ginger

1 tea­spoon vanilla bean paste

1kg pineap­ple, peeled and thinly sliced+

2 cups (560g) labne (yo­ghurt cheese, see recipe, page 24) co­conut crumb

¾ cup (60g) shred­ded co­conut

¾ cup (90g) al­mond meal (ground al­monds) ¼ cup (90g) honey

1 tea­spoon vanilla bean paste Pre­heat oven to 180°C (350°F). To make the co­conut crumb, place the co­conut, al­mond meal, honey and vanilla in a medium bowl and stir to com­bine. Spread the mix­ture out on a bak­ing tray lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Cook for 10 min­utes, stir and cook for a fur­ther 5 min­utes or un­til golden. Set aside to cool com­pletely.

Place the honey, ginger and vanilla in a small bowl and stir to com­bine. Ar­range the sliced pineap­ple in a sin­gle layer on 2 large bak­ing trays lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per and driz­zle with 2 ta­ble­spoons of the honey mix­ture. Cook for 10–15 min­utes or un­til soft and lightly golden.

Place the labne in a large bowl with half of the re­main­ing honey mix­ture and stir to com­bine. Di­vide the labne mix­ture be­tween bowls and top with the pineap­ple and co­conut crumb. Driz­zle with the re­main­ing honey mix­ture to serve. SERVES 4.

+ Use a large sharp knife or man­do­line to slice the pineap­ple as thinly as pos­si­ble.

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