So I’m just getting straight down to business today. If you make this Labneh subtly flavoured with lemon zest and thyme served with crunchy ciabatta toasts, your guests will think you are a goddess (or god). They will sing your praises and tell you that they are not worthy. Well, maybe not quite but still. They’ll be heavily impressed. Because who is not impressed by someone who makes their own cheese? No-one, that’s who. Making your own cheese is like the ultimate of ultimate domestic duties and makes you seem chic, resourceful and thrifty all at once. I mean.
I’ve been wanting to make Labneh forever. Since I started making my own ricotta, really. If you’ve ever made ricotta and found how easy it is, then Labneh is like child’s play. You literally mix the best thick, plain yoghurt you can find with some salt and leave it to hang around for a day or two. That’s it. Seriously. So you have no reason not to make it and with South Africa experiencing, as a friend likes to say, “F*ck off hot” temperatures lately, there is nothing better to whip up than a cool, creamy bowl of labneh, a pile of crunchy toast/crackers and a few pickles and condiments for your friends and family to nibble on.
- 1 kg double cream Greek yoghurt plain
- 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- olive oil
for the ciabatta toasts
- 1 ciabatta loaf thinly sliced
- olive oil
- To make the labneh, combine the yoghurt with the salt and mix well.
- Transfer to a bowl lined with muslin/cheese cloth.
- Tie the cloth around a wooden spoon and suspend over a bowl/basin for up to 48 hours. Give the labneh a squeeze every now and then to encourage extra drainage.
- When the labneh has reached the desired consistency, remove from the muslin cloth and place in a bowl.
- Stir in the lemon zest and thyme and season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Drizzle with olive oil and serve with ciabatta toasts.
- To make the toasts, pre-heat the oven to 220°c and place the ciabatta on a wire rack.
- Drizzle with olive oil then place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the ciabatta is golden and crisp.
- Remove the oven and serve.