Firstly, what is Labna or labneh? It is a Middle Eastern staple made by removing excess whey from salted yoghurt, which results in a velvety, cream cheese-like spread with a lightly sour note. It's eaten on bread and topped with olives, mint, tomato, cucumber and olive oil. (SBS Food)
I love it because it is delicious, super easy to make and looks impressive. I first came across Labna balls when I was living in Sydney and taught myself to make them. I have never found them in Darwin, so I decided to revisit the old recipe I had (just yoghurt & salt, no other flavours and yet it's still yummy) and came across a newer recipe with a twist.
I'd like to acknowledge that this is not my original recipe, it actually comes from Ditch The Carbs and you can find the online recipe here. However, it was so easy to make and so delicious that I have to share this with you.
500g of plain greek yoghurt
2-4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of pink Himalayan salt
1/2 cup fresh herbs, I used mint and basil - finely chopped (no need to do this immediately, this is done after the yoghurt mix has been in the fridge for 24 hours
Olive oil to cover the Labna balls
In a bowl mix the yoghurt with the garlic, salt and lemon zest.
Sterilize your cheese or muslin cloth in boiling water for a few minutes and then lay the cloth over a sieve so that the cloth lines the sieve.
Pour the yoghurt mixture into the lined sieve, gather the corners of the cloth to the top of the yoghurt and tie with a piece of string. Squeeze the liquid from the yoghurt mix.
Place the sieve over a bowl and put it in the fridge for 24 hours, occasionally squeezing so the liquid comes out.
Discard the liquid then roll the cheese (Labna) into small balls and cover in the fresh chopped herbs.
Store in sterilised container covered in olive oil.
Labna is a fresh cheese, so don't keep for more than 1 week in the fridge (you'll be lucky if they last one day as they are so delicious!)