One of my newest discoveries is Labneh, or also known as Yogurt Cheese. My Middle-Eastern friend (who also makes homemade yogurt) has been making this for years and it is a popular snack and even a spread for sandwiches and wraps. I never knew that you could strain the liquid out of yogurt and make a thick, creamy cheese. It’s a little fattening but it is the good fats that children especially need.
It’s tasty enough by itself but makes a perfect base for a creative dip plate. There is no limit to the chopped or sliced ingredients you can line it with or the dipping items.
4 cups organic plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
Line a strainer with triple-layer cheesecloth. In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt with the salt. Pour into the strainer that has been set in a dish to catch the liquid, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 12 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator and carefully unmold to a plate.
Prepare topping ingredients such as:
1/2 cup finely chopped Roma tomatoes
10 or so garlic-stuffed green olives
Thinly sliced salami
Finely chopped sweet peppers
Finely chopped red bell pepper
Finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Thinly sliced green onion
Decorate the outside of the yogurt cheese with the ingredients you like and drizzle the entire cheese portion with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with crackers and/or vegetables.