So you start off by laying out your labneh in a bowl and sprinkle some herbs on top. Then you invite your friends over and they all go ‘holy crap man, you are TALENTED!’ and then the thought bubble rises above your head that says ‘it’s just hung yoghurt…’.
That’s right. Labneh although delicious, is one of the simplest dishes you could ever make. I liken labneh to a sort of mildly sour cream cheese, if you get my drift. The whey exits stage left and you have a thick, spreadable dream.
It takes a little planning, it’s not a ‘Christ, the door bell’s ringing what can I serve’ type dish. You need to hang this baby for at least 24 hours and I wouldn’t skimp on the fabric either. Whilst I’m certain a tea towel would do the trick, go to Spotlight or Lincraft or your nearest reputable fabric dealer and get your self some muslin. I should think cheesecloth works too, simply because of its name but untested in this kitchen.
Last weekend I was away with my lady-family and I was the self-appointed breakfast line cook. On Saturday morning I threw a kilo of yoghurt into a piece of muslin and stirred in a teaspoon of cinnamon. Come Sunday, we were in Middle Eastern cheese bliss. Freakishly good and versatile to boot! I’ve made this cinnamon version to have on French toast before but weekend just gone we had it with potato and onion hash, fried ham hock and crispy sage leaves (which my eldest sister said reminded her of a funeral – ixnay on the crispy sage leavesnay).
Anyway, I urge you to give this a crack. Here it is on toast (my God, Wood Frog Bakery – where have you been all my life) with some sardines, paprika and I pegged some fresh thyme at it too.
Crispy Sardine and Olive Labneh Bruschetta
makes 6 servings (but with loads of labneh left over)
for the labneh
1kg plain yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
jar of green olives (about 30, pitted)
zest of 1 lemon
Blitz or finely chop your olives. Stir into yoghurt along with salt and lemon rind. Pour into muslin and tie to a rod or wooden spoon over a large bowl. Make some space in your fridge and let it sit there majestically for 24 hours.
for the sardines
6 whole sardine fillets
2 tablespoons cornflour
generous pinch of salt
paprika to garnish
Dust the sardines with cornflour and shake off excess. Shallow fry for about three minutes or until the skin side is a crispy devil. Flip and fry for a further minute.
Toast your chosen bread and smear generously with labneh, position your sardines and sprinkle with paprika. Delicious!
- I can’t say for sure because I haven’t done it, but if you have guests banging down your door – stir your chopped olives and lemon through some marscapone for a super quick spreadable cheese.
- Don’t stop at olives and lemon – can you imagine this with chilli and lime zest? or sumac? heck…