WHAT IS LABNEH?
Labneh is a variation on cream cheese that is still spreadable. The texture hovers somewhere between crème fraîche and cream cheese though it has more flavor then either of those two. You can use Labneh by itself as you would either of those ingredients. Some have described this dairy delight as a spreadable yogurt with half the calories and fat of cream cheese. Try it in this beautiful and tasty recipe from Salma Hage’s “Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook” (click here to read our review) is a new way to use beets. The tang of lemon juice and yogurt cheese perfectly offset the sweetness of roasted beets.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING BEETS WITH LABNEH
- East to Make “Exotic”
“Labneh” or yogurt cheese isn’t as rare as you may think. It’s easily made at home. Start with a good thick strained or “greek” yogurt, set a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and line it with cheesecloth or a clean dishtowel without naps. Add your yogurt, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate. The water will drain out of the yogurt creating a thicker product like a soft cheese.” from the book Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook.
- Mandala Tip: To make this dish vegan, substitute hummus for Labneh.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH BEETS WITH LABNEH?
This is a refreshing dish with a strong hint of lemon to it. The citrus fruit’s tang means that most tasty beverages like wine won’t play well here. Try something that can hold its’ own like a Pilsner or White beer with a slice of lemon as well! Or just go with a glass sparkling water to clear your palate between bites. (written by Chef Stef)