Gorgeous garlic and chive labneh

This little recipe earned itself the name ‘Gorgeous garlic and chive labneh’ because, well, isn’t it?! I absolutely adore flowers and I always have. I even dabbled in floristry when I was deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. Those freezing 3 or 4am starts at the markets were definitely not for me! I have found a way to bring flowers into my food photography as a Naturopath / Nutritionist though, so that makes me happy. They also find their way into my food often, like they have here โ˜บ๏ธ

I was inspired to make this recipe after seeing a beautiful photo of a flowered and herbed labneh on the Gather Facebook Page. I find Labneh such a delicious and wholesome treat, but adding garlic and chives takes it to another level. Delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‹

If you’re not familiar with labneh, it is a cheese that’s made from straining the whey from yoghurt overnight. This produces a thickened yoghurt cheese that is either spreadable or can be rolled into balls. Some of the lactose is also removed in this process, but not all (1). The recipe here is for the spreadable kind. However, you can leave the yoghurt to hang a little longer so it’s even thicker then roll into balls. If doing the latter, it’s lovely to roll them in herbs and store in olive oil.

I found some interesting facts about labneh when doing a little research. The wordย Labneh comes from the Arabic word ‘laban’, which means ‘milk product’. Labneh originated in the Middle East but when and where exactly, has been very difficult information to come by ๐Ÿ˜ย The book Manufacturing Yogurt and Fermented Milks (pg.332) suggests it may have been made as early as 3000BC ๐Ÿ˜ฎย Yoghurt was also strained, historically, to reduce the water content and delay spoilage so it could be stored for longer (1).ย It’s still very popular in Middle Eastern cuisine today…. and it is in my kitchen too ๐Ÿ’ž

It’s important to remember that the labneh will be as good as the yoghurt you use. If you want it to be bursting with probiotics to support immune and digestive function (amongst many other things!) – I really recommend going with a lovely organic or biodynamic one. Get as creative as you’d like to with it.ย It will always look and taste different depending on the flowers you have available (if using) or the herbs and spices you might mix in. I love a recipe that can go with the flow, don’t you?

If you know anything else about the history of labneh, I’d love to hear about it! โ˜บ๏ธย Do you make your own version? Let me know what some of your favourite flavour combinations are in the comments below if you do.

To make this recipe you will need on hand, a small sieve, a piece of muslin or a nut milk bag and a deep bowl.

Gorgeous garlic and chive labneh

Ingredients

  • 500g plain yoghurt (I used Marrook Farm Biodynamic Yoghurt)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Edible flowers to decorate

ย ย 

Directions

  1. Line a small sieve with a piece of muslin folded over in three, so there are several layers for the yoghurt to drain through, then sit it over a deep bowl. A nut milk bag will do fine if that is all you have
  2. Pour the yoghurt into the muslin, wrap the extra cloth over the top and place a saucer on top, then a weight such as a jar filled with water, on top of that. The weight will help strain out the whey (see photos 1 and 2 above)
  3. Place in the fridge and leave overnight or at least 12 hours
  4. Remove from the fridge and place the thicker yoghurt in a bowl along with the garlic, chives and pepper, then stir to combine
  5. Place the muslin back over the sieve but this time in a single layer only
  6. Line the sieve with as many edible flowers as you’d like to use, remembering to put the petals face down as they are what you want to see when the labneh is turned over (see photo 3 above)
  7. ย  Scoop the yoghurt back into the sieve, add more flowers here if you’ll be turning the labneh out onto a clear glass dish, cover with the excess muslin, and put the saucer and weight back on top
  8. Place back in the fridge overnight or until firm enough to tip out (Mine was a spreadable consistency but you can leave it longer if you’d like to be able to form it into balls)
  9. When ready, open the muslin, and place a plate serving side down over the sieve then flip it over so the labneh can fall gently onto the plate
  10. Serve with your crackers of choice. We love the Spiral Foods tamari rice crackers

Gorgeous garlic and chive labneh

Resources

1.ย El-Abbadi N., Dao M., Meydani S., “Yogurt: role in healthy and active ageing“. Am J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2014;99(Suppl):1263Sโ€“70S, viewed 3 July 2017.

18 Comments

  1. Never heard of labneh but really want to try this. Looks so pretty too!

    • Really? You definitely must give it a try then! It’s super simple and so absolutely delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Hope you enjoy it! ๐Ÿ’ž

  2. Gabby, this is art, I love your floral food pics. ๐Ÿ™‚ Haven’t had labneh in forever, really must rectify that asap. Perhaps as a starter at my next foodie gathering. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you so much Anna ๐Ÿ˜Š We absolutely love labneh and it’s almost always in the fridge. A definite easy starter to make for times you have people over. Flowers can only add to its beauty ๐Ÿ’ž

  3. This is absolutely gorgeous Gabby! I too, love using edible flowers in dishes. Garlic and chive are among my favorite herbs!

    • Thanks, Beth ๐Ÿ˜Š Edible flowers make everything more appetising to me ๐Ÿ’ž but then…. I’m a sucker for beautiful things!

  4. How absolutely beautiful. I too love flowers and colours and dabbled (only in my head tho) with the idea of becoming a florist, but chose Cheffing as a career when I left school, I was always drawn to Australasian cuisine because colour featured so much in every dish. Even though I’ve left professional cooking, I’m still a die hard foodie and love sniffing around blogs and cooking for inspiration, and this post does it well.

    • Thank you Anna ๐Ÿ˜Š I love looking at blogs and people’s beautiful recipes too. I must come and find you and several others I’ve just been lucky enough to cross paths with. I’m in the middle of a bit of research at the moment, which always makes me a bit sporadic…. try as I might not to be!

  5. It looks beautiful with those flowers on it too! I have yet to make labneh but I would love to one day as I have made my own ricotta in the past.

    • Ooooo I haven’t made ricotta yet, Corina! I must get into that one day. The labneh is very easy to do but I should definitely try some other homemade cheeses. They always seem so much more delicious ๐Ÿ’ž

  6. Very informative item Gabby, I had never heard about labney before, love it and how easy you made the recipe, thanks!

  7. I can’t wait to serve this gorgeous snack to my kids and tell them that it was made back in 3000 B.C. Whoa! So cool! I absolutely adore the flowers on top: it’s always a bonus when a snack is delicious, healthy, AND breathtakingly beautiful!

    • Aww thank you Michelle ๐Ÿ˜Š That was difficult information to find, but glad I did! I love the history of food and the various cuisines we have around the world. It’s all so interesting. Hope you enjoy this! ๐Ÿ’œ

  8. I love labneh and make it often to even slather on leftover parathas and rotis. I add some green chilli, dill or even coriander. Depends on what ingredients I have on hand. Your labneh with flowers looks so pretty.

  9. How absolutely beautiful! I love your presentation Gabby. This looks interesting and delicious!

    • Awww thank you, Elaine ๐Ÿ˜€ Labne is an absolute favourite for us…. and garlic and chive has to be one of my favourite combinations for it! ๐Ÿ’ž

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