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Strained Yogurt

Strained yogurt

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: Vegetarian/GF

Strained yogurt -- also called labneh, or yogurt cheese, or "even better than Greek yogurt!" -- is a rich and creamy condiment that's delicious stirred into stews, used as a topping for roasted vegetables, or even eaten plain. And, it's super simple to make. 

  • 1 quart whole yogurt
  • walnut oil or olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Line a colander with one of these things: a couple layers of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. (In a pinch, you could use paper towels, or coffee filters, but they're less preferable).
  2. Dump a quart of yogurt into the center of the cloth/towels. Whey will begin soaking the towel, and dripping into the bowl. If using cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, tuck the edges of the fabric up over the yogurt to cover it. If there's not enough fabric to cover, find some other way to cover the colander. Place the colander in the refrigerator. 
  3. Let the yogurt sit for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. The thickness will correlate to the length of time it sits. 
  4. When you like the labneh's texture, scoop it into a container for storage, and stir in half a cup of walnut or olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. (Also, save the whey! You can use it in place of buttermilk in salad dressings and in baked goods such as pancakes or biscuits, and put it in marinades for meat).

Extra exciting ideas: sprinkle the labneh with za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend that includes thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. It's also great topped with cardamom and pistachios. If you like things sweet, stir in a little bit of honey or maple syrup, some fruit, and cinnamon.