I make no secret of my obsession with all things Greek yogurt. It's my daily afternoon snack and I've been known to get a little cranky if I don't have it or if the store is out of my favorite brand. And yes, it's a life long love affair. When I was growing up, my mother used to buy a light, highly tangy version of yogurt called laban and my whole family was addicted to it.
For the past few years I've had trouble finding it anywhere except the ethnic markets in Brooklyn. But last year, at the Fancy Food Show, I met a new player in the yogurt market who was making a similar taste. I mentioned to him that his yogurt reminded me of laban and he knew exactly what I mean. So fun!
But back to my Greek yogurt obsession. I cook with it, bake with it (it makes such fluffy and moist cakes) and turn it into dips. My favorite yogurt based dip is a form of tzatziki with cucumbers but I was in the mood for a thicker, more cheese based appetizer. So I used my favorite labneh making technique of straining the yogurt through cheesecloth until it thickens. Flavored with some herbs and topped with caramelized onions, it made a seriously addictive appetizer.
- 2 Cups Greek style yogurt (full fat)
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Red onion, peeled and sliced
- To make the labneh, stir together the Greek style yogurt, salt, dried oregano and chopped fresh parsley. Be sure the mixture is evenly incorporated to avoid pockets of salt.
- Pour the mixture into a piece of cheesecloth, tie the top and place over a strainer set over on a bowl. Be sure the bowl is large enough that the bottom of the strainer does not touch any dripping liquid. Leave the mixture out on the counter, at room temperature, for one hour to allow the bulk of the liquid to strain out.
- Drain the bowl and then set the whole thing in the refrigerator for approximately two days. Periodically drain any liquid that forms in the bottom of the bowl.
- When the labneh is ready and firm, remove it from the cheesecloth and set over a serving plate. Add the olive oil to a skillet or saute pan and add the sliced red onion. Saute on medium heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until the onions are lightly caramelized.
- Pour the sauteed onions over the prepared labneh cheese and serve as a dip with crackers or slices of pita bread.