Middle Eastern gourmet delights for the eternally lazy or just plain broke!

labna in bowl_watermark

 The year before last I was shopping at a very upmarket deli and discovered labna…it was infused with garlic and rosemary sprigs…Seriously it was to die for!  The price however, wasn’t to die for…unless of course you planned to starve for the rest of the week til next payday and eat only labna.  It was $35 a kg…

But where there’s a will there’s a way…it’s very easy to make and a heck of a lot cheaper than buying.

All you need is natural Greek yoghurt and salt…and any other ingredients you’d like to use to infuse flavour into the labna; i infuse two halved cloves of fresh garlic and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary. How cheap and hard can that be?

Labna is also known as yoghurt cheese and can be rolled into balls and stored in oil…i don’t bother putting that much effort into my labna.  I put it in a glass container and that’s it! I use glass because the garlic smell/taste infuses into plastic containers and depending on what is stored in the container after the labnah it can make the food a bit smelly; which is fine if it’s spicy food but not so pleasant if it’s sweet food.

 

yoghurt and salt_watermark

Mix the salt into the yoghurt; give it a good mix. Lay out some muslin on the counter.

 Put two layers down; the thinner layer goes on the outside and the thicker layer goes on the inside.

muslin 1_watermark

muslin 2_watermark 

Put the labna in the middle.

yoghurt on muslin_watermark

When gathering up the edges, i always gather the two longer edges together first and then i gather up the two short ends.

Wrap the kitchen string around the ‘neck’ a few times and knot securely. yoghurt ball wavy edge_watermark

Slide a skewer under the kitchen string and hang it to drain for 12 to 24 hours.

 

labna drain_watermark

Every so often twist the ball to wring out the whey.  When the ball feels quite firm scrape the labna into a storage container.

ball in glass closeup_watermark

Push in a couple of halved garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs.

labna collage

The serving options are endless.  This is lamb & roast vegetable pie with labna…

served dish 2

Download the recipe here 

Enjoy!

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