Labna - Yoghurt cheese

From issue #6.
Photography by Photography by Simon Devitt.


1 kilo thick, plain, unsweetened yoghurt
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, crushed

Coating suggestions
finely chopped fresh herbs, smoked paprika, toasted cumin or fennel seeds, or lightly ground sumac

extra virgin olive oil

Flavouring suggestions:
small dried chillies, bay leaves, whole peeled garlic cloves, toasted cumin, coriander or fennel seeds, sprigs of rosemary or thyme, wide strips of lemon peel


Line a large colander or sieve with a double layer of wet muslin. Mix the yoghurt, salt and garlic together and tip into the strainer. Tie the muslin ends together and place the strainer over a large bowl, to catch the whey. Refrigerate for 2 days. Roll the resulting thickened yoghurt into small balls then coat in any of the suggested spices or herbs.

Alternatively, place in a jar, cover with olive oil and add one or more of the suggested flavourings. The marinated labna will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks. Plain uncoated labna can also be placed straight onto a platter,
drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with the coating spices