Inspired by my Middle Eastern roots, this spread is simple, versatile, and the cure for everything. I’m not sure if it’s just an “old wive’s tale” in my family, but labneh on toast with olive oil is supposed to be the best thing for your stomach if you’re not feeling great, don’t have an appetite, etc. It kind of makes sense – the probiotics in the yogurt and all. Whatever the case, I love it, and it’s something that’s always in my fridge.
Labneh is a versatile, savory Middle Eastern yogurt spread. Nowadays, it’s easier to find in select supermarkets (I find it at Whole Foods once in a blue moon!) or specialty Middle Eastern markets, but this recipe is just too easy when you can’t find it or want something a little simpler and healthier/without any added ingredients.
There are several ways labneh can be served. Here are just a few examples:
- As a dip at a party. Drizzle olive oil and a sprinkle of dried mint on it and serve with sliced cucumbers and pita chips. Mixed olives on the side is a good addition.
- A more traditional way. Again, drizzle with olive oil and eat with pita.
- In Beirut, my favorite sandwich is one that’s made with pita, slathered with labneh, drizzled with olive oil and has cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and fresh mint in it.
- On toast, in place of cream cheese or other spreads. You can even do a savory sweet mix of jam and labneh on toast. Even in place of sour cream.
- 32 oz whole milk yogurt
- ¼ - ½ tsp salt
- Topping Ideas: Olive oil, dried or herbs (thyme, mint)
- Place yogurt in a cheese cloth-covered strainer over a bowl and make sure that there is enough space for the water to strain from the yogurt and not touch the strainer
- Let sit in the fridge for 24-36 hours. About halfway through the straining time, give the yogurt a good stir
- Once the labneh is done straining, transfer the it to a bowl and stir in salt. Serve with any herb toppings and olive oil. I prefer ½ tsp of salt, but I’d recommend using less salt if this is your first time trying labneh. You can always add more!
If you're in a pinch and don't have cheese cloth, a coffee filter or really thin paper towel can work.