Updated: Mar 13
Labneh balls are a healthy way of turning plain Greek yogurt into a spreadable, creamy, tangy cheese.
I remember my dad making a big batch of this yogurt appetizer. This recipe allowed him to be creative, experimenting with different combinations of spices and herbs. The plain labneh by itself doesn't have much depth, so after he formed the labneh into balls (step 6 below), the fun would begin. He would roll the balls in dried, ground mint, sumac, dried, ground tarragon or sesame seeds. He truly enjoyed blending the various herbs and spices to achieve different flavors. If the labneh balls where not being used right away, he would preserve them in a covered jar covered with olive oil.
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sumac
Yield: 14 balls
Prep Time: 2-3 days in advance
Cook Time: none
Mix yogurt with salt.
Place the yogurt in the cheese cloth and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible.
Place the cheese cloth in a colander. Place a bowl under the colander to catch the liquid. Put a plate over the cheese cloth mixture and add weight to the top by placing a heavy can over it.
Transfer to the refrigerator and leave it for at least 48 hours.
Remove the labneh from cheese cloth.
Roll into 1-inch balls.
Then sprinkle or roll the balls in either the sumac or the sunflower seeds.
This dish is traditionally served for breakfast in the Middle East, along with warm pita bread.