In case you have been cut off from human civilization the past few years, you may have noticed an ever so slight trend of Greek Yogurt everywhere. It’s yogurt but little better, thicker, and slightly more tart. I’m definitely a fan. BUT, if you have happened across Labne at some point in your life, then you’d understand why I’m not just a fan of it, but a certified groupie.
Labne, like it’s distant cousin greek yogurt, is similarly thick and tart, but it’s closer to a cream cheese than something you would top with fruit and granola. It’s a middle eastern dip often eaten with pita bread, and growing up Lebanese, I ate it on the daily especially for breakfast. I would say it’s like a mediterranean peanut butter, you can spread it on bread, dip things in it, and when there is no lunch to be found, roll it up in some pita bread and call it a sandwich. It’s always topped with a drizzle of good olive oil and sometimes and sprinkle of dried mint. It is also pretty easy to make.
If you’re not a middle eastern grandmother cooking up your own yogurt regularly, you can make it from store bought plain yogurt. I have done this with many a yogurt in my day, but hands down the best version will always come from the beast of all plain yogurt: TRADER JOE’S EUROPEAN STYLE ORGANIC YOGURT.
(CUE heaven’s parting and sound of angels singing).
If you have a Trader Joe’s near you and you’re not buying this regularly, then my friend you are seriously missing out. S E R I O U S L Y. It’s the next best thing to homemade yogurt.
Making fresh Labne
The steps to making Labne involve simply straining the whey to thicken the yogurt.
So make yourself a batch, and eat it for breakfast with some cucumbers, olives, pita bread and a cup of hot tea. You’re welcome.
- Homemade or store-bought Plain Yogurt (Trader Joe's Europen Style Organic is the BEST!)
- Strainer or sieve
- Olive Oil
- Dried crushed mint (optional)
- Line a small strainer or sieve with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth. The size should be determined by how much yogurt you will be using.
- Place the cheesecloth lined strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid as it strains.
- Pour the yogurt into the strainer, gather the ends of the cheesecloth and close with a twist tie or string.
- Place in refrigerator at least 24 hours, if not longer to drain the whey. Your labne will be ready when consistency is thick (like cream cheese).
- Spread on a plate, drizzle with olive oil and dried mint if desired. Serve with pita bread and sliced cucumber.