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Reem Assil's Labneh

Labneh from Dyafa | Jim Sullivan

Looking for the perfect dip with pita bread or fruits? Labneh, a Middle Eastern dish made from strained yogurt might be the answer to your prayers. Made of yogurt strained through cheesecloth then drizzled with olive oil and za'atar, labneh has about half the fat and calories of regular cream cheese and can be used as spread on bagels, dip for fruit and vegetables ... just in case that pita bread isn't handy. Here is James Beard-nominated chef Reem Assil's recipe. 

Yield: 3 cups 


8 cups of yogurt
1 tsp of salt (Reem uses kosher salt)

For drizzling:
Extra virgin olive oil
Za'atar spice
Fresh mint

* You will also need a piece of linen, muslin or several layers of cheese cloth for straining


1. Place a large colander in a sink.
2. Line the colander with a linen, muslin towel or several layers of cheese cloth.
3. Pour yogurt into lined colander.
4. Pick of the edges of the towel and tie the top. Hang from kitchen sauce to drain for 24 hours, strain liquid. Alternatively place colander over deep bowl and strain in fridge overnight.
5. To serve, spread labneh in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, za'atar spice and fresh mint. Eat with warm pita or fresh veggies for dipping.

Labneh from Dyafa | Jim Sullivan
Labneh from Dyafa | Jim Sullivan

Learn how Palestinian chefs have brought people together through food on "<a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" target="_blank">The Migrant Kitchen</a>" S3 E5: Man'oushe