( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Doug Sherring
Labneh is possibly the simplest way to make your own cheese. It’s a thickened yoghurt, that turns into a soft cheese and is a super-tasty, satisfying and versatile addition to a platter. You can roll it into balls, cover it with herbs and marinate it in olive oil. It also works well at breakfast with poached fruit and muesli. You can spread it on crackers or toasts and serve it with just about anything. I love it in a bowl, as I’ve done here, with herbs and spices on top. All you need to make it is some natural yoghurt and some cheesecloth, and it’s satisfying and impressive. My friend gave me a jar for my birthday, rolled in balls with herbs. It went straight on to a platter and I was instantly inspired to make my own again.
- Take a medium-sized bowl and line with cheesecloth.
- Pour in the yoghurt, and stir through the salt.
- Tie the corners of the cloth around a large wooden spoon, or simply tie into a bundle with string, and hang over a bowl, then refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the thickened labneh from the cheesecloth.
- To serve, spread into a shallow bowl, and sprinkle with pistachios and parsley. Sprinkle over sumac, drizzle over the lemon juice and olive oil, and serve with pita crisps, oat cakes or crackers.