- 2 cup (560g) greek-style yogurt
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
- 2 cups (500ml) plain or flavoured olive oil
- 1Place a sieve over a medium bowl; line with muslin. Stir yoghurt and salt together in a small bowl. Spoon onto muslin; gather into a ball, secure with string or an elastic band. Cover; refrigerate for 48 hours or until very thick. (The longer it is left to drain, the firmer it will be.) The leftover whey has many uses.
- 2Using oiled hands, roll heaped teaspoonfuls of the labne into balls. Place in a 3-cup (750ml) jar; pour over plain or flavoured oil. Label and date; keep refrigerated.
- 3To eat, remove labne from oil and serve as is or, if you like, roll it in a coating (see suggestions, right).
- 4Add 2 bruised garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs thyme and 4 thinly peeled strips of lemon rind to labne oil.
- 5Combine 2 tablespoons each finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, coriander and dill with 1 teaspoon sumac in a small bowl; roll labne in mixture.
- 6Combine 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes and 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind in a small bowl; roll labne in mixture.
- 7Combine ½ cup za'atar with 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint.
- 8Use ½ cup ready-made dukkah, or use the fennel, almond and pine nut dukkah recipe on page 273 to coat the labne.
- 9Stir 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste and 1 teaspoon salt into the yoghurt in step 2 (left). Very finely chop 4 dried apricots and ½ cup dry-roasted almonds; roll labne in mixture.
This recipe must be prepared at least 2 days before you want to serve the mezze. Labne will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator; pack balls into clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid, cover with olive oil, seal jar tightly before refrigerating.
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