Labneh is a type of cheese made from fermented milk (rayeb) that is drained on a cheesecloth or concentrated in a porous bag or container, allowing the water to evaporate.
Labneh comes in various forms: as semi-liquid yogurt, with a slightly granular texture, as well as in the form of cheese balls preserved in olive oil (flavored with spices or not), dried herbs and / or seeds.
How to prepare the labneh?
This diversity of forms comes from the manufacturing process of labneh: it is a yogurt that can be drained more or less time. As a result, the longer it is allowed to drain, the more the yogurt turns into a dry cheese that can be shaped into a ball.
In short, the basic principle is simple: you only need to let the yogurt buttermilk drip through the cheesecloth long enough to achieve the desired consistency.
For a fresh and tender cheese, 12 hours will be enough. On the other hand, for a firmer consistency, let it drip for 24 hours.
Labneh is traditionally made from sheep's or goat's milk. But cow's milk is being used more and more due to its great availability throughout the year.
How to serve the labneh?
It can be served with pita bread or manaeesh bread, or you can serve the labneh seasoned with olive oil and zaatar. For a more consistent version, it can be served in the form of dumplings with spices, aromatic herbs, or oil seeds.
Some ideas for using the labneh
It is an extraordinary resource in the kitchen that can replace, depending on the consistency we decide to give it, ingredients such as sour cream and fresh cream, cream cheese, or cottage cheese. Can be used for cakes and cheesecakes.
Its silky cream form is delicious as a dipping sauce for raw vegetables, a dipping sauce, a condiment for salads, as well as for desserts, with fresh fruits or simply, in combination with fruit compotes.
Choose the milk you like the most, your favorite spices or herbs, the bread you want and let yourself be tempted by this wonderful labneh!