Labne is basically strained natural yoghurt and a fabulous replacement for cream cheese in sweet and savoury recipes.
- 500 grams full-fat natural yoghurt
Line a sieve with a muslin cloth (you can buy this from a fabric shop like Spotlight).
Place the sieve over a bowl to catch the whey that will drain off it.
Place the yoghurt in the muslin - lined sieve (as pictured above), fold over the cloth (some people like to tie it off) and pop back in the fridge for 12-24 hours. You can also leave it out of the fridge overnight to further promote Lacto-fermentation and produce a tarter cheese. Either way, it's good!
Labne is a firm but still very soft cheese. You can make it firmer by straining it for longer and also by folding the muslin over the top of the yoghurt and then placing a weight on it (I use a small plate with a big tin of tuna on top).
Don't throw the whey!!
Reserve the whey and freeze until you need it. It is super nourishing (high in protein and many other nutrients). I have lots of suggestions for the whey coming up, including a mayonnaise and fermented vegetable recipe very soon!
Ways to use Labne
- Use it as you would a cream cheese spread.
- Marinade it in olive oil infused with herbs like fennel seeds or rosemary (Mediterranean flavours). Or chilli and cumin seeds (for Indian or Middle Eastern flavours).
- You can shape the labne into small balls and then roll it in a mix of chopped herbs, salt, and pepper. Serve drizzled with olive oil.
- Use it in roulades to replace fromage frais.
- A delicious, sweet simple recipe here (pictured above).
- Drizzle with a sweet syrup like maple, honey or rice malt syrup.
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