A super versatile Middle Eastern soft cheese with a velvety texture and subtle sour flavor, Labneh makes for a perfectly delicious dip mixed with herbs and spices, chili flakes and extra virgin olive oil, or rolled up with nuts and seeds.
2 cups (500 grams) full fat Greek yogurt
lemon juice (½ lemon)
sea salt (a good pinch)
¼ cup roughly chopped roasted & salted pistachios
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon bee pollen
Greek honey (to your liking)
muslin (large piece)
Place the muslin over the sieve and position over a large bowl.
Mix the labneh ingredients together and dollop into the muslin. Gather the overhanging edges, twist tightly to form a ball and tie using some string. Cover with cling film and allow to sit at room temperature for a couple hours. Then refrigerate for 12-24 hours, depending on the consistency you are looking to reach. (The longer you let it sit, the thicker it will become. I usually leave it for a whole day, which makes it perfect both for spreading and forming balls).
While it’s in the fridge, give the yogurt mixture a good squeeze from time to time, allowing it to release its liquids. When ready, remove from the fridge, untie the muslin and spoon the labneh into a serving plate or container. If you want to add spices and/or herbs, you can do this now, or leave it as is and use it to your liking.
To serve, toast the bread, allowing it to cool slightly, and spread the fresh labneh generously. Top with pistachios, bee pollen and sweet honey.
WORDS + PHOTOS: Amaryllis Tsegou
Amaryllis Tsegou likes to think of herself as a lazy cosmopolitan. Born in Greece but having lived abroad for the past 14 years, she is grateful to be able to call both Athens and London “home.” She loves discovering and experiencing different cultures and making links between things familiar and new ones that come along. Her interest in diversity and curiosity in discovering new things is the driving force behind her work as a food photographer and stylist, which is inspired by her personal background and studies in anthropology, my travels and London’s multiculturalism. Her personal blog, The Tasty Other, keeps her love affair with food alive, through tasting and testing, sharing dishes and talking about food.