More yoghurt today, this time in the form of labneh, a middle eastern strained yoghurt/cream cheese. It's pretty easy to make, just add salt to Greek Yoghurt and strain through a muslin cloth or fine sieve in the fridge for a day or two, then mix with some more salt and olive oil if you like. The straining process removes most of the whey from the yoghurt and you are left with a tangy, salty and creamy spread that is somewhere between yoghurt and cream cheese. The longer you leave it the thicker it will be.
I've been making labneh for a little while, mostly as a dip with other middle eastern style dishes as part of a mezze - it is great spread on flat bread and sprinkled with dukkah. Heidi also has some great ideas for using labneh over at 101 Cookbooks. Recently though I've been thinking that really you could use labneh wherever you would use another cream cheese such as ricotta. One of my favourite things to make with ricotta is crostini, sometimes savoury and sometimes sweet, so I was inspired to make this sweet and savoury super easy brunch dish.
The cold creamy labneh goes so well with the sweet peaches and crispy toast, with just a bit of spicy olive oil and pink peppercorns sprinkled over the top to give it a bit of a punch. The fruit needs to be really sweet and ripe, so go with whatever looks good to you, nectarines and plums would work well, maybe even pitted cherries. As ever I'm all for dishes that can be thrown together as quickly as possible, the only advance planning here is putting the yoghurt in the fridge to strain a day or two before you want to use it and perhaps making the toasts in advance and storing in an airtight container. Et Voila - a super speedy and delicious brunch.
Peach, Labneh and Pink Peppercorn Crostini
Makes around 12-14 Crostini
Approx 500g Greek yoghurt (full fat or fat free is up to you)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium baguette/ country loaf/ bread of your choice
2-3 ripe peaches, sliced
pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
Mix the sea salt into the yoghurt. Place into a fine sieve, a piece of scaled muslin, or a muslin lined sieve over a bowl and into the fridge. Leave at least overnight to drain, or for up to two days.
Once ready discard the whey and turn the strained yoghurt out into a bowl, taste for salt and add more if needed along with the olive oil and mix well.
Toast thin slices of the bread until just lightly golden on both sides. Top the toasts with the labneh and peach slices. Sprinkle over some of the pink peppercorns, some more sea salt and drizzle with olive oil.
Note - Chobani sent me some free yoghurt products to make use to make this recipe, I haven't tried their yoghurt before, but would highly recommend the plain variety for making labneh as it is already very thick but totally fat free