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.
500 grams plain Greek-styled yoghurt (I've used buffalo yoghurt)
1/2 teaspoon salt
finely chopped fresh herbs
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.
One thing you will notice is that it's probably half the size it was when you started.
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.
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.
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.
Serve them as part of an antipasto or meze, add them to salads - or just eat them spread over Turkish bread.
Tagged with Cheese