There are so many standout ingredients that we adore, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of our obsessions. But you’ll see them in our recipes, the incredible ramen noodles that inspire a whole dish, the heirloom tomatoes that must be sliced into a BLT. One of our latest food preoccupations is with labneh.
What is labneh? The thick, creamy substance is made from strained yogurt. Depending on how long the yogurt has strained for, labneh can range from just barely thicker than yogurt to an almost cream cheese-like texture. The tanginess of yogurt remains in labneh though it’s balanced by the creaminess (good labneh always starts with full-fat yogurt). That combination of rich and tangy make labneh a wonderful topping for stews, salads, or sandwiches with a Middleastern flair; labneh is made and eaten almost everywhere that includes yogurt in their cuisine.
In the interest of including labneh in as many dishes as we can (remember: obsession), we use labneh as a base, like mayo or yogurt, to make a simple sauce. In our Lamb & Beef Sliders, the spice paste harissa combines with labneh to top the little burgers.
And here labneh is, plain, on top of heirloom carrots and farro, the bright, creamy counterpoint to a nutritious and beautiful grain-and-veggie salad.
Have you tried labneh? What are your favorite pairings?