Cool, creamy and refreshing, labneh is a traditional Middle Eastern food, stemming back from ancient times. Made from strained yogurt, labneh was an important source of protein for the Bedouin tribes and holds a central space in Armenian, Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian and Israeli culinary traditions. It can be made from goat, sheep, cow, camel or buffalo milk, each with its distinct flavor, and you can purchase it or make your own by straining a thinner plain yogurt. An excellent source of protein, calcium and Vitamin A, labneh also offers gut-boosting probiotics.
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
- 4 scallions, roots trimmed, white and green parts chopped into ¼ inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 cups labneh (substitute a thick unsweetened plain Greek yogurt, if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus the zest of 1 lemon
- Flaky sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Finely chopped fresh chives, to garnish
- Sliced cucumbers, radishes, pita and more lemon to serve
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the scallions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the scallions are caramelized and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the labneh with the lemon juice, a bit of the zest and a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Pour the scallion garlic mixture over the labneh and garnish with fresh chives, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest, if desired. Serve with vegetables and pita.
Note: This dip also pairs well with roasted lamb or chicken, as part of a grain bowl or served in a sandwich or pita.