Lab­neh with Swiss Chard, Black Olives, and Za’atar

SAVEUR - - Paris -

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.

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