Labneh with Olives, Pistachios and Oregano

For quite a while, I have been intrigued about turning yogurt into a luxurious Middle Eastern cheese like labneh. In mediterranean restaurants, labneh is served as an appetizer and dessert. They are wonderful in both savory and sweet applications. Put the labneh out on the table with some crackers or bread, and watch it disappear. I decided it’s time to make my own labneh.

There is no cooking involved, just chilling and waiting. That doesn’t mean it’s a quick dish. It does requires some planning and start straining the yogurt the day before. But the actual hands-on time is rather brief. It’s a straightforward and mouth-watering recipe I’ve found on the Ottolenghi website. I have more labneh straining in the refrigerator as I’m writing this post.

Instead of black olives, I used a medley of green and red olives. The herbaceous goodness comes from fresh oregano, parsley, lemon zest and garlic. As the name of the dish implies, two of my favorite nuts, toasted pistachio and pine nuts, are piled high on top to give the labneh some crunchy texture. A few red pepper flakes round out well the creaminess of the cheese and the salty and nutty ingredients. Ottolenghi recommends serving this with chunks of fresh tomatoes mixed in with slices of red onion. There you have it: a complete no-cook dish without any use of heat and fire. Just a sensible and cool way to tackle the intense and unrelenting heat wave this week.

IHCC home cooks are presenting their own solutions to a no-cook challenge. You can find them here. Stay cool and happy summer!

Toppings: olives, oregano, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, pistachio, pine nuts and chili



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  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    August 17, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    I made this when we cooked with Ottolenghi and a couple of times after that for parties. It so perfect as an appetizer or a light meal. So delicious! Your photos have me craving it again. 😉

  • Reply
    August 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I love to see your version of this dish. This is going to be showing up a lot in my kitchen and is good for a crowd, as you've suggested.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I strained yogurt too 😉 This looks delicious

  • Reply
    August 22, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    This would be perfect for appetizers at our next ladies night.

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    August 30, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I have never seen red olives. Beautiful appetizer! I got to try labneh one of these days!

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