Sunday, September 17, 2006

Making Labne

Labne is one of the easiest types of cheese you can make. It's a yoghurt cheese with a middle eastern heritage and it's simply made by draining yoghurt through muslin. It really is that simple.

bottled

Labne

500 grams plain Greek-styled yoghurt (I've used buffalo yoghurt)
1/2 teaspoon salt
finely chopped fresh herbs
olive oil

Place the yoghurt in a bowl and stir in the salt.

Line a small bowl with several layers of muslin and pour the yoghurt into this. Draw the muslin in, using the shape of the bowl to help form a ball. Twist the gathered muslin, you'll immediately notice liquid dripping out, continue twisting until you've formed a tight ball, then tie this off with kitchen twine. Suspend this over a deep bowl and place in the fridge - I tie the twine around a wooden spoon and dangle it over the bowl, there needs to be a gap between the base of the ball and the bowl.

Depending on the type of yoghurt you've used, you'll need to let this drain at least overnight and possibly two days. Don't forget to discard the liquid at regular intervals. When it feels firm then it's time to go onto the next step.

drained

One thing you will notice is that it's probably half the size it was when you started.

inside

You can use it as is - just turn it out onto a platter and sprinkle over with the herbs and a good drizzle of olive oil. Or you could have added the herbs initially along with the salt.

herbs

The herbs I've used are coriander, parsley, mint and chives - you can vary this mix but try to stick with the softer types of herbs. You could also try adding spices like sumac or paprika.

Pinch off tablespoonfuls and roll into balls and drop them into the finely chopped herbs. It's probably best to wear kitchen gloves when doing this.

coating

coated

Once you've formed and coated all the labne balls store them in the fridge for a few hours before storing them under olive oil - this just helps to set the labne's shape.

preserved

Serve them as part of an antipasto or meze, add them to salads - or just eat them spread over Turkish bread.

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18 comments:

  1. Looks amazing as usual. Out of curiosity, what flavour does the cheese have? Just the same as the yoghurt used?

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  2. I love the sound of this!! I'm going to get some Greek yogurt to try my hand at making Tzatziki, so I'll try this too!!

    You do make the best looking things!!

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  3. that looks so simple! much easier than making paneer. i'll definitely try this.

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  4. Thanks Ellie - the flavour is a concentrated version of the yoghurt but it isn't s tangy, you'll find that it absorbs the flavours of the herbs and oil as well.

    Thanks Kalyn - I'm sure you'll fun with this.

    Thanks Kickpleat - give it a go and i'd love to know how it turns out of you

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  5. This sounds absolutly wonderful - I've made paneer before, so I can't wait to try this.

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  6. oh labne! so delicious. yours look particularly good i must say!!!

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  7. Thank Sara - this should be a breeze for you

    Thanks Anna!

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  8. Look forward to seeing it Alanna!

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  9. Thanks for having this recipe! My husband and I loved it. Will be making more soon.

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  10. Thanks Viktoria - happy to hear you both enjoyed it!

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  11. Thanks for this recipe, will be making it for a cocktail party on Friday night...think the girlfriends will love it! Will be making mine with chilli, garlic and rosemary. Thanks again

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  12. AnonymousJune 20, 2010

    Does the yogurt need to be in the refrigerator while you are sqeezing out the liqued or is it Ok to leave on the counter?

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  13. Hope they enjoyed it Kaztas!

    Hi Anon - yes place it in the fridge

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  14. I just stumbled across your blog trying to figure out what Labne was-you did a great job showing how easy it was to prepare. Thanks!!!

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  15. Thank you for sharing! I love this and have just devoured a whole batch. These will be the perfect hors d'oeuvres for the people I work for.
    Yumm!

    Victoria Allman
    www.victoriaallman.com

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