How to Turn Yogurt into Labneh

If you’ve got Greek or Turkish style yogurt on hand, labneh is just minutes away.

Popular all over the Middle East, labneh is yogurt that's been drained of most of its whey so that it takes on a thick, lush consistency akin to that of whipped cream cheese. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za'atar, labneh can be part of a meze offering; it's also great spread on bread, spooned over granola, or dolloped anywhere else a lightly tart and creamy component would be welcome. Normally yogurt must be drained for several days to create labneh, but we found a much speedier approach. After straining yogurt through cheesecloth overnight, we used paper towels to blot away enough moisture to create a spreadable consistency.

Here's how to do it:

1. Line large plate with triple layer of paper towels.

2. Spread ⅔ cup homemade or commercial strained yogurt evenly over top; set aside and let sit for 10 minutes.

3. Grasp paper towels and fold yogurt in half; peel back towels.

4. Rotate plate 90 degrees and repeat folding and peeling 2 more times to consolidate yogurt into smaller, drier mass; you should have about ½ cup labneh.

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