Labneh with Chopped Herbs
From ancient times, yogurt has been a staple of the Middle Eastern diet as have other dairy products. If you are looking for a buttery rich cross between yogurt and sour cream, then you must try Labneh. A Middle Eastern and Persian favorite it has the lemony flavor of a good yogurt with the butter flavor of butter or sour cream. Since the ancients used to eat herbs with cheese such as Feta, the Persians decided to mix their herbs into their Labneh and to drizzle the top with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sometimes even some ground fresh Pistachio nuts.
Labneh Yogurt Dip With Herbs
Four cups Labneh yogurt
One cup whole milk or half cream and milk
One cup chives or scallions minced
One cup flat leaf parsley minced
1/4 cup mint or fresh basil
Three tablespoons fresh dill
Two cloves garlic minced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
One teaspoon Kosher salt
One teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pita or Naan flat bread cut into triangular shapes or pita chips
May also be served with firm vegetables such as cucumber, radish, carrot, celery, tomato, pepper
Kalamata olives and pepperoncini for garnish or fresh tomato and cucumber
1) In a non reactive bowl place the Labneh and mix well with the milk or cream.
2) Thoroughly wash and pat dry the herbs. Mince. Mix in to the yogurt cream mixture.
3) Cover and chill for at least fifteen minutes to half an hour.
4) Wash and slice your tomato and cucumber for garnish. Also wash and prepare your vegetables.
5) Remove and make a slight indentation in the center. Pour the oil into this indentation and also drizzle over the top. Sprinkle some additional herbs on top, and the chopped nuts if using.
Serve chilled or room temperature garnished and with the vegetables and bread as an appetizer.
World Cuisine Today September 7, 2018