labneh: n. A fresh cheese made from strained yogurt, popular in the Middle East, that is served as a spread or formed into soft balls.
Several of us here at the Kitchn were traveling over the holidays, and this is just one of the foods we fell in love with while eating overseas. We ate labneh for breakfast every morning while on a trip to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.
Unfortunately, we kept forgetting to bring our camera to breakfast. But this photo from Flickr shows labneh in the making. It is essentially a soft, fresh cheese made from strained yogurt, and it's served much like hummus, spread on a platter and topped with olive oil. We liked it even better formed into golf ball-sized lumps that were rolled in dried herbs or dotted with seeds.
Labneh has a very mild flavor and creamy consistency. We spread it on our eggs and on flat bread, topped with cucumbers. While hummus, tabbouleh, and baba ghanoush are common on meze platters, we don't see labneh as much in the U.S. (or maybe we've just failed to notice until now).
It's not hard to make, either. Here's a recipe:
• Homemade Labneh Balls, from Swirl & Scramble
Anyone make labneh at home? Or do you have a go-to source for buying it?
Related: Making Cheese at Home: A Round-up of Cheese-Making Kits
(Image: Flickr member Mevrouw Cupcake, licensed under Creative Commons)