Herbed Labneh in Spicy Garlic Oil

Topped with fresh herbs and drizzled with spicy garlic oil, this tangy and rich cheese is perfect for adding to salads or slathering on crusty bed.

Labneh is a tangy, rich and creamy cheese made by slowly straining yogurt with salt. This is a great make-ahead dish, perfect for salads or as a spreadable cheese on crusty bread.

Herbed Labneh in Spicy Garlic Oil

Serves | 8 |

Labneh

  • 2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • flaky sea salt

Spicy Garlic Oil

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 dried arbol pepper, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 3 dried guajillo pepper, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed
  • ½ tsp cumin seed
  • ½ tsp coriander seed
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • crusty bread, for serving

| Preparation | In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and salt. Scrape mixture into a fine mesh strainer double-lined with cheesecloth, bringing edges of cheesecloth together. Place strainer over a medium bowl so that the labneh does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Place in fridge for 24 to 48 hours, or until the yogurt has thickened to a cream cheese-like consistency; squeezing out excess water every 6 hours or so.

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil, chiles, bay leaves, garlic and spices; bring to a slow, steady simmer. Let sizzle for 10 to 15 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Turn off heat and let cool; store in a glass jar for 24 to 48 hours.

Place chopped herbs and lemon zest in a bowl. Remove labneh from fridge; squeeze out any excess liquid. Using a small cookie scoop, form balls of labneh and roll each into the herb mixture, coating generously and evenly. Sprinkle with flaky salt and transfer to a tall Mason jar. Strain oil and pour into Mason jar, covering labneh balls completely. Let sit for 24 hours in the fridge. Remove and let come to room temperature before serving.

Amber is a private chef, food stylist and recipe contributor in the St. Louis area. Having spent the last 6 years in Los Angeles, she also gained extensive knowledge working at renowned restaurants Gjusta, Roberta’s and staging at many others.

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