So, here’s another one of those things that have me telling you, “I grew up eating this!” I did. But, it wasn’t really this. You may be familiar with labne (or labneh). Labne is a cheese made from yogurt, but the labne I grew up eating was flecked with bits of mint and spread into a bowl. My Mom would smooth the top with a spoon and created hills and valleys. She’d drizzle the fruitiest olive oil over the top and turned those valleys into rivers.
I make it my Mom’s way and I love it, but once I made it this way…it became my favorite. I do a few things to get as much of the whey out of the yogurt as possible and get it nice and thick. Then, I add just a bit of salt and the best olive oil I can find. Stop right there, and what you end up with is so similar to goat cheese. That is what inspired me to roll it into logs and serve it the same way you’d serve any goat cheese. Take it a step further and use a variety of herbs, depending on what you’d like to serve it with. Sprinkle them over the top or you could finely chop the herbs and roll the log to completely cover it. There are so many possibilities with this cheese.
Greek Yogurt Cheese
32 ounce non-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Your choice of herbs (parsley, rosemary, basil, mint)
large fine mesh sieve
bowl with high sides (be sure the bottom of the sieve sits high above the bottom of the bowl)
two sheets of parchment paper
Place the sieve onto the bowl and line it with the cheese cloth. Spoon the entire container of yogurt into the lined sieve.
Bring up the sides of the cheese cloth to cover the yogurt and place one of your largest cans on top (Don’t use two cans, like in the photo! I really just use one). This will help press the whey out even more. Place the entire contraption in your fridge and leave it alone for about three to four days. If you want, you can unwrap it after two days, but it just won’t be as firm.
Remove the cheese from the refrigerator. Discard the whey. Unwrap the cheese and place it in a medium bowl. Add the salt and the olive oil and blend in well using a rubber spatula. Draw a line down the center with the spatula.
Take half of the cheese and place it on the sheet of parchment. Bring up one side of the parchment over the cheese and using your hands, form a log out of the cheese. Roll it up in the paper and roll the log on your counter to give it shape. Repeat with the other half of the cheese.
Refrigerate the cheese logs or serve immediately.
To serve, I like to drizzle the top of the cheese with more olive oil and some fresh herbs. Try using flatbread crackers topped with the cheese and some assorted veggies.
- If you don’t have cheese cloth, you can use a clean white tea towel or even good quality paper towels.