Homemade Labneh and Quesadillas

labneh

I feel fairly at ease attempting the basics in the kitchen – sautéing, roasting, chopping, boiling, broiling. I’ve got those on lock.

And then there are other kitchen endeavors that I’ve learned to avoid. Pastry, for example, is not something I’m down with on a regular basis. Nor is deep-frying or preserving.

Normally something like making one’s own cheese seems like dicey territory, but yogurt cheese – or labneh – is where it’s at for us novices. All that’s involved is a little stirring and a bit of patience.

Labneh is almost like a Middle Eastern cream cheese, spreadable, creamy and a little tart. And super easy to make.

It’s great slathered on a warm pita or as a dip for crudités. I decided to make a quesadilla of sorts with some roasted vegetables for a weekend lunch.

labneh quesadilla

 Labneh

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (something with at least a little fat content – I use 2% Chiobani)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Za’atar to taste

Line a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth or another clean, loosely woven cloth and place over a larger bowl.

Mix yogurt, lemon juice and salt together and then place in the lined strainer over the bowl. Cover with cloth and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

(The longer you strain it for, the thicker it will be. I left mine for the full 24.)

When you have a thickened strained cheese, place it in a bowl and smooth over with a rubber spatula. Drizzle olive oil over it and sprinkle on some za’atar. (Or try sprinkling some sumac, dukkah, fresh herbs…etc.)

Labneh & Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas

Serves 2

  • 2 large tortillas or wraps
  • Labneh
  • Roasted zucchini
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Harissa (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

To roast veggies: Heat oven to 400 F/200C.

Cut vegetables into even sized pieces – I went for longer thinner pieces (less than an inch thick).

In a large bowl, toss with olive oil, salt & pepper (or desired herbs and spices) and line up the vegetables on a baking tray, giving each piece it’s own space.

Roast for about 20 minutes until golden in places and cooked through.

For quesadillas: Toss warm roasted vegetables with a teaspoon or two of harissa (optional)

Heat a skillet or grill to a medium-high heat.

Spread the labneh on either side of your tortilla. Layer your vegetables on one side and fold the non-veggie side over – so you have a semi-circle.

Cook in the hot skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly toasted and warmed through.

Cut into wedges and serve with more harissa if desired.

3 thoughts on “Homemade Labneh and Quesadillas

    • I’ve been dabbling in the vegan before 6 arena lately and I’m just discoving a whole world of dairy free yogurt! Nothing you can make cheese with yet but I actually quite like that tofu cream cheese!

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