Labneh (Middle Eastern Cream Cheese)

Makes 500g

 

Ingredients:


1kg good quality Greek yoghurt
Good pinch of salt


Method:


Place a sieve over a large bowl and line the sieve with a cheesecloth folded in 2 (giving 2 layers).


Add the salt to the yoghurt and stir thoroughly. Scoop the salted yoghurt into the cheesecloth lined sieve. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth together and secure with a piece of string to form a parcel.


Place the sieve with the bowl underneath in the fridge and leave to drain for about 24 hours. I like to add a weight on top of the cheesecloth parcel to aid the draining process. The longer you leave the yoghurt to drain the thicker the labneh will be.


Gently squeeze out any excess liquid and remove the labneh from the cheesecloth. It should have the consistency of cream cheese.



Storage:


Labneh will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 


Alternatively you can preserve it by rolling teaspoon amounts into balls and placing on a tray in the fridge overnight. Then taking a clean jar place the labneh balls inside and cover with a good quality olive oil until the balls are completely submerged. Seal the jar and place in the fridge until needed (they will keep this way for months).


Labneh is a thick, creamy yoghurt-cheese from Greece. Serve it as a dip with a drizzle of good quality olive oil and a sprinkle of nutty dukkah or anywhere you would normally use cream cheese.


Making your own cream cheese is so easy and adds a source of protein and calcium to your diet without all the unnecessary ingredients and preservatives found in supermarket ones.