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Labneh Party Cheese Balls

Widely enjoyed all over the Levant Mediterranean region, no feast, meal or party is made without labneh at the center of it.

 
  • click on picture above to see Labneh video guide

 

Labneh. What is it?

Tangy, thick, and creamy, labneh is basically yogurt cheese. Just like Greek yogurt, it is made by straining yogurt until it loses most of its liquid. If you think of Greek yogurt as strained yogurt, labneh is extra strained yogurt. Typically made of goat’s milk and in the ‘Levant’ region (Consisting of; Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan) of the Mediterranean cuisine, it is as essential as hummus and tahini.

Making Labneh is easy. It requires a good goat’s milk (or cow’s milk) yogurt, salt and time. So let’s start…

 

Typically, Labneh is made of goat’s milk yogurt. The tanginess and sourness of the goat’s milk compliments the end product in ways cow’s milk yogurt simply cannot. It is in my opinion, similar to feta cheese made of cow’s milk versus that made of goat’s milk. Once you taste a Bulgarian or Greek feta cheese made of goat’s milk and compare it side by side to feta cheese made of cow’s milk, or as it is better known as French feta, I promise you, you will never look back.


The difference in taste is astounding and very noticeable. That said, goat’s milk and yogurt are products that are not commonly found everywhere, and this recipe can be easily made with cow’s milk yogurt as well (we recommend full fat FAGE yogurt).

 

Serving 3 Cups = 24 oz

Course Condiments

Cuisine Gluten free

Freezer(ish)? No.

Good for Upto 2 weeks

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Cups goats milk yogurt

  • 1 Tsp kosher salt

  • 1 Tsp Lemon salt (see below)

 

Lemon Salt

  • ½ cup Kosher salt

  • Zest from 1 lemon

Combine and mix well in a bowl. Spread over a baking sheet and dry in the oven at 125 degrees F, for 5-7 hrs (times may vary depending on oven and other factors). You want to get a dried mixture at the end. Place in a sealed jar and use as needed.

 

NOW WHAT...

  • Combine yogurt and salt in a bowl and mix well.

  • Transfer yogurt mixture into a cheese cloth, milk bag or kitchen towel and place in a mesh strainer over an empty bowl

  • Twist cloth ends making sure yogurt mixture is squeezed.

  • Tie cloth ends and place a weight on top of mixture further assisting the removal of liquids from the yogurt mixture. We used a bacon press, but anything can be used from a plate to a can of tomatoes.

  • Place in fridge for 24-48 hrs to completely drain.

  • Transfer labneh to a sealed container and keep refrigerated for upto 2 weeks.

 

Q+A

  • Can I use a lower fat yogurt? Yes. However, texture and taste may change.


  • Can I use another type of oil? Yes you can. However, we feel that Extra virgin olive oil complements Labneh best.

 

ENJOYING LABNEH

Now you may enjoy labneh spread on a toasted piece of bread, on salads, or with pita chips sprinkled with za’atar, a small bowl of olives, and ofcourse a good crisp cold beer on the side.

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