Ohhh labneh. I predict this traditional Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean dish will take America by storm soon, just like shakshuka has. Labneh is a strained yogurt dip, traditionally served with za’atar, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and/or olives, and warm pita bread of course! Labneh yogurt dip is extremely healthy, light, and absolutely delicious. It’s so easy I can’t even call this a recipe!
Za’atar is a unique spice blend of dried herbs and sesame seeds from the Middle East. Make sure to get some at your specialty market for this- there’s really no substitute quite like it. Here’s what the final product looks like:
Instructional step by step for homemade labneh yogurt dip:
Step 1: Place a strainer over a glass bowl.
Step 2: Place a cheesecloth over the strainer.
Step 3: Spoon an entire container of plain Greek yogurt over the cheesecloth.
Step 4: Enclose the yogurt with the cheesecloth and twist to form a sack. Spin around a few times so it stays put.
Step 5: Add some weight on to the cheesecloth, for example a porcelain dish or anything else that will apply pressure, but not too much.
(Almost there!) Step 6: Refrigerate overnight for 24 hours.
After refrigerating for 24 hours, unwrap the cheesecloth. Spoon out the yogurt onto a large plate or flat serving dish. For presentation: create ridges in the yogurt on the plate. Push down with a spoon and swirl around to form this design. You eat with your eyes first after all! The ridges also create a little home for the olive oil and any toppings you may want to put on it as well.
After you have your yogurt on the plate, drizzle generously with olive oil and za’atar. I like to add some fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and olives- but it’s not necessary.
Time to dip dip dip!
Keep it fresh!