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How to make labneh

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Labneh is a thickened yogurt, made by straining yogurt overnight until it releases its liquid. Spread it on toast, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with toasted pistachios; serve it with poached eggs for breakfast or fruit for dessert and eat it topped with granola for breakfast. + MORE WAYS TO USE LABNEH IN YOUR COOKING

Instructions to make labneh at home

1. Line a spotless sieve with a coffee filter or a new Jeyes cloth or a piece of clean muslin.

2. Place the sieve sitting over a large bowl that fits into the fridge and pour the contents of a tub of good quality natural or Greek yogurt into it. Leave in the fridge overnight to drain, until all the liquid has dribbled away and you are left with a fairly solid mass: spoon the labneh into a clean bowl, store it in the fridge and use by the sell-by-date on the yogurt tub.

MORE WAYS TO USE LABNEH IN YOUR COOKING

LABNEH DIP: Make up a dish of labneh sprinkled with toasted cumin or fennel seeds and a drizzle of olive or chilli oil, sprinkle smoked paprika on top: serve with thin slices of toast to dip.

SERVE LABNEH WITH CHARGRILLED MEAT: Griddle flattened chicken breasts (place seasoned chicken fillets between 2 layers of cling film and batter them with a rolling pin, cook in olive oil over high heat on a ridged pan); and serve with warmed flatbreads, a healthy dollop of labneh, roast red peppers from a jar and watercress (or whizz the roast red peppers with the labneh to make a dip).

USE LABNEH INSTEAD OF MAYONNAISE in dressings and sandwiches. It’s healthy and lower in fat.

SAUTÉED SPINACH WITH LABNEH AND CRISPY FRIED ONIONS: Fry slivers of onion in olive oil until crispy and drain: toss baby spinach leaves in oil in a wok and season with soy sauce. Plate the spinach, add the fried onions, top with a soft-poached or a soft-boiled egg cut in two, a spoon of labneh, a sprinkling of smoked paprika and a few toasted pine nuts. (Use pak or bok choi or fried spring greens instead of spinach.)

USE LABNEH INSTEAD OF CREAM CHEESE: Mould the labheh into small balls (a melon baller makes it easy or use clean hands), place in a serving dish, drizzle with good basil or sun-dried pesto and a drizzle of really good fruity green olive oil. Sprinkle over freshly ground black pepper or roast Szechwan pepper. You can also place the labneh balls into a spotlessly-clean jar, pour over enough olive oil to cover and spoon them out when you need them (store in the fridge up to the date on the original yogurt tub).

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Photograph copyright foodpixies.com

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