Uses for labne
I bought some homemade labne a few days ago at a Lebanese store. What can I do with it besides making a dip of it (Made the one in the Arabesque cookbook)? (or eating it with a spoon?!) TIA!
Well, all it is, really, is super thick yogurt... it's nice, but I was kind of dissapointed once I realized that.
A lot of different dips and salad dressing can be created, but you say your not interested in that.
How about a pasta dish, starting with lots of carmelized onions, cook the pasta, add the labne to the onion mixture, toss with the pasta (save some of the pasta water in case it needs some liquid added) and serve with parm or some other sharp cheese, and/or chopped fresh herbs sprinkled on top.
re: Hungry Celeste
We like to spread some labna on a plate, drizzle it with mint oil and eat it with eggs scrambled with diced tomatoes, onions, feta and za'atar or sumac. Served with grilled pita it's a great breakfast. We also spread it on toasted whole grain english muffins and drizzle it with honey, with a good amount of freshly ground black pepper on top. Really good with mangoes and strawberries.
I just tried a bulgur pilaf-y recipe from the 101 cookbooks blog that uses labne (along with spinach, carmelized onions and roasted tomatoes), and it turned out to be very tasty. (Even my husband, who groans every time I bring out the bulgur, approved!) The recipe originally comes from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons.
My co-worker brought in bagels with labne & doa (awesome middle Eastern spices she buys in Brooklyn). Saw this since I was also researching labne recipies:
Bedig Margossian's Labne Sandwiches
An 8-by-12-inch sheet of lavash (Armenian flatbread) makes a sandwich large enough for lunch. To make smaller sandwiches for an appetizer course, cut the lavash in half (into an 8-by-6-inch rectangle) first. Alternatively, use pita rounds, trimming the edges to make a square, then separate the two layers of the pita to make two squares. The exact proportion of the filling ingredients is not important, but do not scrimp on the labne or olive oil.
1 8-by-12-inch sheet of lavash (Armenian flatbread)
1/3 cup labne (see Note) or plain whole-milk Greek strained yogurt or plain whole-milk yogurt drained in a cheesecloth-lined sieve overnight
Kosher or sea salt
1/2 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion
1/2 jalapeno chile, very thinly sliced
4 to 5 pitted kalamata olives, thinly sliced
4 to 5 large fresh mint leaves, torn into smaller pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°. Warm the lavash directly on an oven rack until it is pliable, about 45 seconds. You don't want to toast it or it will harden when it cools.
Immediately spread one side of the warm lavash evenly with the labne. Season generously with salt. Top with the sliced tomato, onions, chile, olives and mint leaves, scattering them evenly. Drizzle with olive oil. Working from a narrow side, roll the lavash like a jelly roll. Serve immediately.
Note: Labne, or thick drained yogurt, is available at Middle Eastern markets.
Per serving: 380 calories, 9 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 22 g fat (4 g saturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 521 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
I don't know what else you can do with it other than eat it like it is spread out on a platter, drizzled with a good olive oil and decorated with olives, fresh mint, tomatoes, It's mezze food.
My mom made a cheese cake out of it once because there was no cream cheese in the country at the time, she said it was ok but I'm not "recommending" it here :)
By far my favorite way of eating labne is as Hungry Celeste points out - in a bowl, topped with a generous drizzle of your favorite honey (was extraordinary with lavender-enfused honey) and some nuts - pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, even candied nuts...
One of my favorite preps for labne is to stir in a generous amount of fresh dill and chopped toasted walnuts and a bit of minced garlic, and use plenty of warm pita bread to scoop it up.
Labne is delicious....use as you would use sour cream; or cream cheese. We add a dollop into our yougurt/w/fruit and it thickens and makes it silky and rich. The smear topped with a good oil and drizzle of flavored balsamic vinegar with crackers to dredge is marvelous; or a side with any salad and toasted nuts. Dips are great with it, too.