A while ago, my wife and I were hunting for foods we hadn’t tried in a Middle Eastern market. As a lover of yogurt and cheese, she spotted a container of Labneh, which is a kind of Arabic Yogurt. It goes by other names and pronunciations as well, like “Labne,” “Laban,” or, “Kefir Cheese,” although that last one is a misnomer. Labneh is used to make Kefir Cheese, but when it’s in its yogurt-like form, it isn’t really a cheese at all. The flavor of Labneh is similar to Greek yogurt crossed with sour cream. In fact, I suspect that you could replicate the recipe below by using two parts whole fat yogurt and one part sour cream to achieve similar results.
As an experiment, my wife whipped up the rough ingredients of this dip in a mini-portion. The result was a happy, delicious accident that made me determined to recreate it. Below is the recipe for a cool refreshing tangy, creamy dip that you can eat with pretzels, pita bread, or use as a dressing for sandwiches.
Makes about 1 cup of dip at 535 calories total or 33.5 calories per tablespoon.
- 1 Cup of Labneh / Labne / Laban (480 calories)
- 1 Plum Tomato (about 15 calories)
- 1 Tablespoon packed finely chopped fresh cilantro (negligible calories)
- 1 Teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (40 calories)
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- Small bowl
- Cup, tablespoon, and teaspoon measurements
- Place 1 cup of Labneh into a small bowl.
- Chop one plum tomato into small cubes (I know there are two in the photo, but ignore the second tomato).
- Add the tomatoes to the labneh.
- Finely chop 1 packed tablespoon of fresh cilantro.
- Add the cilantro and the 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the Labneh and mix all of the ingredients up using a spoon. If it tastes ok with that amount of salt, then move on. If you feel like it needs more salt, then just add a little bit at a time and adjust to your liking.
- Smooth out the surface of the dip in the bowl and then drizzle about 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the dip.
- Garnish it with a sprig of cilantro and it’s ready to serve or keep it covered in the fridge until it’s ready. Try it with pretzels or crispy pita bread!