Labneh with Swiss Chard, Black Olives, and Za’atar
SERVES 4–8 Total: 25 min.
“My favorite breakfast as a kid was labneh served with traditional Lebanese sesame sticks called ka’ek,” Omar says. “I loved to eat it drenched in olive oil.” Though it is not customary to mix the oil in, ”this is my touch simply because I love the flavor of olive oil and thick yogurt,” he explains. Serve this as part of a meal for 4, or as an appetizer for up to 8.
1¾ cups (16 oz.) labneh or plain whole-milk Greek yogurt ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter ¼ cup coarsely chopped Swiss chard stems (2 oz.) 3 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves (2½ oz.) 10 large black olives (kalamata or gaeta), pitted and coarsely chopped ¾ tsp. fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. za’atar, for sprinkling Crusty or toasted bread, for serving
1 In a medium serving bowl, whisk the yogurt, olive oil, and salt until emulsified. Refrigerate while you cook the Swiss chard.
2 In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the Swiss chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Add the leaves and continue cooking until they are slightly wilted and bright green but still crunchy, 30–45 seconds. Add the olives and lemon juice, and season with kosher salt as needed.
3 Retrieve the labneh and transfer it to a medium serving bowl or platter. With a spoon, make a small well in the center. Sprinkle the za’atar over the labneh and fill the well with the stillhot Swiss chard and olive mixture. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve with crusty bread or toast.
Labneh, a strained Lebanese yogurt, makes a great spread for toasted bread or vegetables. Use a flavorful, high-quality olive oil for topping.