What can’t one do with labneh, the soft, creamy, yogurty cheese of the Middle East? Some things you can definitely do: Dip your veggies in it. Spread it on bread. Use it as a “dressing” on a salad of spinach, red onion, and tapenade. Dunk your over-easy eggs in it. Here’s how to make labneh the easy way.
Looks great in my jar!
On a spinach salad with olive oil, red onion, and sundried tomato paste
Strain the whey off the yogurt into a bowl
Use a good yogurt that you like on its own
The labneh emerges!
My terrible photos really do not do this one justice! This is my recipe for JVRP Salmon, named for the excavation where I first made this dish. I was looking for something to make for a potluck, but only had access to a barbecue and a small electric hob. Knowing that most people would make meat on the grill, I decided to go for fish, and make use of the magic that is aluminum foil. This dish can be made very quickly if you’re short on time, but two of the more complicated ingredients can be made from scratch, if you are looking to make the whole thing a bit more involved.
Raw goodies in the pan
After the initial covered cook
Stir it around and let it continue to cook
This sundried tomato paste is creamy, savory, and easy to make. It’s great on salmon, eggs, toasted bread, and anything where spreadable cheeses are involved. Why buy it at the store when you can make it at home in a few minutes?
Sundried Tomato Paste
Another recipe inspired by quickly expiring produce from my friend’s market share! In this case the basil I received had begun to oxidize, so I wanted to use it before it went completely dark and limp. I also used some basil from the plant I am growing on my window sill. I really do not like pignoli (pine nuts), so I decided to make my pesto with almonds, but you can use pignoli and follow the same basic recipe if you’d like.
Mmm, Basil Almond Pesto…
Washin’ my basil
Into the food processor it goes!
Blend it up
This recipe is probably the most requested of all the things I make, but it’s not my own: the original comes from Orna and Ella in Tel Aviv, and there are tons of reproductions of their recipe online, including this one from Food 52, which is the basis for the one I’m sharing here. The sauce is really versatile, and can be used as a dip for veggies or pita, or spooned onto nachos in the place of regular old sour cream. It’s also really great on fish.
Prepping the potatoes
Into the pot they go
After boiling and softening them, give it a rough mash
That’s a nice consistency–not too smooth
Add the flour, sugar, salt & soy sauce
Mix it up
This sauce can also be eating on its own with a spoon… jussayin’
Tahini (sesame paste) is healthy and easy to use, and goes well with lots of other foods as a dip, dressing, or spread.
Tahini paste before water is added to thin it
Israeli salad with tahini and olive oil