Traditional recipes

Green Garlic Labneh

Green Garlic Labneh


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Available in the spring, green garlic is somewhat less intense than grown-up garlic, but still very pungent and extra-juicy. The dairy fat and tang of the labneh provide cooling balance.

Ingredients

  • 1 green garlic bulb, white and pale-green parts only, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 cup labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Mix green garlic into labneh in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

  • Do Ahead: Labneh can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Nutritional Content

Per ¼ cup: Calories (kcal) 100 Fat (g) 3.5 Saturated Fat (g) 2.5 Cholesterol (mg) 20 Carbohydrates (g) 7 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 6 Sodium (mg) 135Reviews Section

Labneh Tzatziki

Kiss the cook! Well, only if you have garlic too. Tzatziki has been a staple side dish in our family for years, and although there are many recipes for this wonderful, garlicky, Greek yogurt based sauce floating around the internet, this one is thick, luscious and has a serious depth of flavor. Thanks to my husbands Lebanese roots, we use labneh instead of yogurt which gives the tzatziki extra tang and creaminess.

I shared this recipe for the Spring edition of Spinney’s Food Magazine, which I paired with a vibrant crudité platter that’s perfect when entertaining or for a summer barbecue. Eat it with chicken, roast meats, burgers, or on its own as a dip with crusty bread or crackers.

If you can’t find labneh, you can easily make it by straining plain yogurt through a sieve lined with cheesecloth for several hours in your refrigerator, discarding the water that remains. Alternatively, substitute the labneh with full-fat Greek yogurt.

Labneh Tzatziki with Crudités – Serves 6 to 8
  • 500 grams Fresh Labneh
  • 4 small Lebanese cucumbers, skin on and grated
  • Splash of Olive oil
  • One Clove Garlic, minced
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Dill (optional)
  • Snow Peas
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Cherry Tomatos
  • Lebanese Cucumbers
  • Heirloom Carrots
  • Radishes
  • French Green Beans (lightly Steamed)
  • Broccoli (lightly steamed)
  • Cauliflower (white, purple, green – lightly steamed)
  • Mini Bell Peppers
  • Endive (red or yellow)
  • Yellow or Green Summer Squash

Combine the labneh, grated cucumber, olive oil, garlic, salt, and dill (if using). Mix until all the ingredients have been incorporated and smooth.

Spoon the tzatziki into a bowl. If desire, swirl a little “dent” in the center, drizzle additional olive oil on top and garnish with fresh dill.

Place on a large platter surrounded by a generous amount of crudités and serve.


Labneh Green Goddess Recipe

Labneh Green Goddess makes a wonderful dip for everything from crudité to French fries. Thin your Green Goddess with more lemon juice or a touch of cool water to make a salad dressing.

1 cup labneh
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Leaves from 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
Leaves from a few sprigs of tarragon
Leaves from a few sprigs of basil
Several chives
Fronds from 1 bunch of dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced (green sprout removed, by slicing the clove lengthwise)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)

1. Stir the lemon juice into the labneh.

2. In a food processor, pulse all of the herbs until they are finely chopped. Stop and scrape down the bowl as you go. Add the salt, garlic, and anchovy paste and pulse to blend.

3. Scrape the labneh into the herbs and puree, stopping to scrape the bowl, until everything is bright green and well-blended.


Mediterranean Mashed Potatoes

You can’t forget mashed potatoes when you are hosting Thanksgiving. It’s affordable, easy-to-make, and a total crowd-pleaser. Many mashed potato recipes ask for lots of dairy products to flavor. Sticks of butter! Heavy cream! Warm milk! Sure, they make the potatoes taste great and luxurious, but it can be too heavy.

My take on traditional mashed potatoes, I substituted all the dairy for LABNEH. Mixing some starchy water with labneh, and adding fresh thyme, lemon, and black pepper, makes the mashed super flavorful and creamy Making roasted garlic is another secret weapon for this recipe. Easy to make, but adds a ton of flavors, and you can serve it along with the rest of your dishes. When garlic gets roasted, the flavors get more complex, making these mashed potatoes truly unique.

Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 6-8 servings


Recipe by EJ Hodgkinson of King + Duke

Romesco
1 # piquillo peppers (or red sweet pepper)
3 ea garlic cloves
5 oz almonds, toasted
1 1/4 oz sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tsp hot paprika
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp espelette pepper
1/2 oz salt
1/2 ea lemon, juiced
3 oz olive oil

In food processor, combine almonds and garlic and pulse until chopped into small pebble sized pieces. Add peppers to food processor and continue to puree. Add all dry ingredients, then slowly drizzle in olive oil, and season with lemon juice and salt.

Creamy Zhoug

1 ea poblano peppers, seeds removed
3 ea serrano chiles
1 oz garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
1/2 Tbs. coriander, ground
3/4 tsp. cumin, ground
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup EVOO
1 oz sherry vinegar
2 cups Greek Yogurt or Labneh

Remove stems and seeds from poblano peppers, remove stems from serrano chilies, rough chop both peppers. Chop both parsley and cilantro from the tops of the bunches down to where they are tied, rough chop garlic and place all ingredients in food processor(note: will need to pulse and chop ingredients, slowly adding to get all volume into food processor), process until the zhoug is of pesto consistency. Whip with Greek yogurt or labneh.


Labneh -Three Different Flavours & Village Memories

I grew up on a farm for part of my childhood, during the turbulent civil war in Beirut, Lebanon. As many other Lebanese, we fled the city (many more left the country altogether), in search of refuge in the mountains. As every family traditionally hails from a village, we returned to our home village of Baskinta. My father, an international lawyer, started a dairy farm and began planting the land where we grew just about everything. We were self-sustained, a practice my father still tries to uphold as much as possible today. So, when I was eight, I had the pleasure (or pain- when the thing decides to karate kick you) of sometimes milking a cow, picking apples and cherries for what seemed to be hours on end, watering garden terraces and making cheese, amongst them Labneh.

Some of the terraces I watered as a child.

Cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and tomatoes. I believe it’s green onions in the background.

Passing through the village, stopping to take shade under a cherry tree.

Labneh is a Middle Eastern soft cheese made by straining yoghurt in a muslin cloth, for about 24 hours or longer, depending on thickness desired. It is commonly made using cow’s milk but goat’s milk is also used seasonally.

In Lebanon, labneh is enjoyed for breakfast drizzled with olive oil, za’atar (wild thyme and sesame seeds mixture), tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, fresh mint and of course, arabic bread-the thin mountain bread is the best with this. It is also served as part of a Mezza, where pounded garlic is added along with some freshly chopped mint. Now that is a delicacy! School-bound children are given tartines for lunch usually arabic bread wraps lathered with labneh, zaatar and the child’s preferred condiments- olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.

Although I absolutely love plain labneh, I’m also the adventurous type and I think it would be so fun to start introducing new ideas and flavours to this ubiquitous Lebanese ingredient. So, I’ve thought up of some different ingredients and flavours that would compliment creamy labneh.

I made the classic labneh (left) using goat’s milk, and a spicier labneh with red chillies, garlic, and dill as well as a sweet labneh using ginger and orange blossom honey. They were all a hit! To make the labneh balls, simply strain the labneh for longer until it hardens and becomes easier to shape into sturdy ball, then add the flavours and seasonings you wish, before preserving in olive oil.

Labneh is very easy to make and I guarantee that once you give it a try, it is surely to become a staple in your household.


Sauteed Green Beans With Labneh And Sliced Almonds

I often find myself wanting to like green beans more than I do. They are healthful (high in vitamins and iron), easy to find, and affordable. But sometimes, I just can’t muster much enthusiasm about a bunch of beans—unless I’m making this dish. Dolloped with soft pillows of labneh (the tangy Middle Eastern yogurt) and flavored with lemon zest, fiery red pepper flakes, and toasted almonds, this is the type of green bean dish a person can get excited about.

  • 40min Duration
  • 25min Cook Time
  • 15min Prep Time
  • 4-6 Servings Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup/30 g sliced almonds
  • 2 pounds/910 g green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 medium shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Labneh and za’atar for serving

Preparation

1. Place the almonds in a small pan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool in the pan.

2. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Make an ice bath by adding equal parts ice and cold water to a large bowl. Place the green beans in the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and immediately place in the ice bath to cool, then drain again.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the green beans, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, until the beans are warmed through, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Transfer the mixture to a serving platter or bowl.

4. Top the beans with dollops of labneh, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the toasted almonds and za’atar. Serve warm.


Green Scene: Labneh-Stuffed Avocado

Portland-based food writer and cookbook author Lara Ferroni turns her focus on the humble but mighty avocado in her new collection of recipes. Pick up a couple of “gator eggs” and a copy of An Avocado a Day to switch up your creamy green game and infuse this wondrous ingredient into things you never imagined. Sometimes, however, a gussied-up half is as much as you need. This labneh-stuffed avocado is for those times.

This combination of avocado, labneh, and dukkah also makes a great Mediterranean-inspired dip served with pita chips. Just mash the labneh and oil into the avocado and then sprinkle with the dukkah to serve.

Green Scene: Labneh-Stuffed Avocado

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight draining
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons labneh
  • About 2 teaspoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dukkah
Labneh (makes about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup unsweetened, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
Dukkah (makes about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Directions

For the dukkah

In the bowl of a food processor or spice grinder, put the hazelnuts and pulse once or twice until coarsely broken.

Add the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt, and peppercorns, and pulse to make a coarse powder. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.

For the labneh

In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, oil, salt, and pepper, and add the garlic. Double-line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth, leaving extra cheesecloth hanging over the sides of the strainer, and place the strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the yogurt mixture on top of the cheesecloth. Pick up the cheesecloth edges, and bundle them together to cover the top of the yogurt. Set aside at room temperature for at least 24, and up to 48, hours, checking occasionally to ensure that the bottom of the strainer is not hanging in any strained liquid (dump out the bowl if it is).

Remove the labneh from the cheesecloth, place it in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to a week.

For the avocado

Slice your avocado in half lengthwise, and gently remove the pit. Slice the flesh of the avocado into cubes, leaving it in the peel.

Place about 1 tablespoon of the labneh in the center of each avocado half, and then drizzle them with the oil.


Dip It

"I'm trying to imagine a vegetable that would not taste good with this. And I can't," Max says. For impressive crudités with a burst of something special, arrange peppers of any color, broccoli, celery, carrots, cucumber and pickles of any sort. If desired, add a little more labneh to the dressing for "maximum dip coverage." Garnish with more of the same fresh herbs used in the dressing and a drizzle of olive oil. "Then you're clear to proceed with dipping vegetables."


Adaptations to Easy Beet Salad with Labneh and Greens

  • Make it vegan, by using a strained dairy free yogurt.
  • Make this as a roasted beet salad.
  • Use different greens such as cavolo nero and serve warm.

For more Greek inspiration, my Greek salad pasta is ready in 15 minutes and is perfect for a quick and easy mid week dinner.

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