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Turkish-style carrot labneh

Turkish-style carrot labneh

Turkish-style carrot labneh

The versatility of yoghurt is infinite. It adds softness to flatbreads and richness to cakes. It’s natural lactic acidity is the perfect foil for spicy curries and tajines and spoonfuls dolloped on top of pancakes and puddings add an alluring a touch of decadence. Yoghurt is luscious as the base for a summertime ice-cream, is indispensable in smoothies and adds a savoury creamy element to dressings and dips.

I could rave for hours about the usefulness and versatility of yoghurt, but let’s be clear, it’s the tangy natural product made by innoculating whole milk with live cultures I’m talking about.

We’ve been eating a lot of food based on the flavours of the Middle East lately, so it was inevitable that I make labneh, essentially natural yoghurt thickened by draining off the whey. I usually drain my yoghurt for about 12 hours which leaves the yoghurt mass a spreading consistency similar to cream cheese. I love it’s fresh acidity plain, and enjoy it for breakfast spread on sourdough toast and topped with sweet juicy tomato or cucumber, a grinding of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

A little honey or maple syrup and a scraping of vanilla bean beaten into labneh makes it the perfect substitute for fresh whipped cream with fruity desserts. Add some coarsely ground almonds and it’s a wonderful dessert in it’s own right, especially with sweet ripe D’anjou pears.

From my recent batch of labneh, I tried out an interesting and totally delicious dip from Greg & Lucy Malouf’s book of modern Middle Eastern vegetarian food, “New Feast.” Turkish-style carrot labneh is simply shredded carrot briefly cooked in oil and butter, seasoned with lime and chilli and then beaten into the labneh. It’s both sweet and savoury, very very delicious.

I’ve made a couple of minor changes to the original recipe.

making labneh

to make labneh:

Line a sieve with a square of muslin or a piece of new Chux cloth. Spoon 1kg of natural unthickenedyoghurt into the strainer. Stand it over a deep bowl or jug. Leave the yoghurt in the refrigerator to drip for a minimum of 4 hours. The longer you leave the yoghurt the thicker it will become. The whey that drains off can be used to make pancakes or used in bread baking.

Turkish-style carrot labneh

20g unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

150g coarsely grated carrots

pinch asafoetida

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes

finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

225g labneh strained for 12 hours

1 tablespoon cream

Heat the butter and oil in a wide pan, add the carrot and asafoetida and sweat slowly for 5-7 minutes or until the carrot softens.

Stir in the salt, pepper, chilli and lime zest. Set aside to cool.

Put the labneh into a bowl with the cream and cooled carrots then beat it with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Adjust the seasonings to taste.

The umami flavours will develop if the carrot labneh is chilled overnight although it’s best to enjoy this delicious spread at room temperature.

 

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

33 comments on “Turkish-style carrot labneh

  1. marilenainthekitchen
    November 16, 2016

    Hi😀and congratulations for your recipes! I lived in Turchey for 4 years and I tasted many dishes…. BRAVA! When you want, the door of my kitchen is always open, you’ll be welcome!

    Like

  2. Moya
    August 15, 2016

    We love labneh too Sandra and have it quite often. Do love the sound of your recipe 🙂

    Like

  3. ChgoJohn
    August 9, 2016

    Labneh, for me, was a gateway dish. Once I began making it, the door opened and I started making a number cheeses. I’m glad you posted this, though, Sanfda. I’d forgotten all about it. Making your recipe would be a delicious way to get reacquainted. Thanks!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 9, 2016

      Thanks John. I’ve made ricotta but cheese is one avenue I’ve never explored in the kitchen, too easy to buy excellent locally made products.

      Like

  4. chef mimi
    August 7, 2016

    I will try your basic recipe. I tend to always drain yogurt before I use it, but not to make actual legend. But with the carrots I cann’t wait to make it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eha
    August 5, 2016

    Could not live without yogurt, have sometimes made my own labneh . . . but am truly enthused by this recipe: now this also would be just great for breakfast, in my case oft with black Nordic bread. Asafoetida [hing powder and there are a couple of types] was new to me until a famous vegetarian chef with a TV series a decade or so back kept on using it in so many dishes – it DOES make a difference and is freely available on line in Australia.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 5, 2016

      Thanks Eha. I had this carrot labneh for breakfast this morning, on toast, my homemade spelt sourdough. It was delicious with sliced cucumber in top. It was yum, I have never liked cereal….

      Like

      • Eha
        August 5, 2016

        *cheeky smile* What’s cereal? [And I would have added cucumber even if I had not read this!]

        Like

  6. Lisa @ cheergerm
    August 5, 2016

    I have just added this to my ‘to do list’. How good does that look? The tempting orange shreds in that labneh deliciousness. Mmmmm….

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 5, 2016

      It’s delicious Cheery, makes you wonder why tzatziki is the only yoghurtty dip you see around. Enjoy

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso
    August 5, 2016

    Ah, this reminds me of a trip ti Istanbul where we had this, among so many other delicious dips. I made it a few times then forgot about it, so thanks for the reminder! 🙂

    Like

  8. I’ve pinned this one, sounds delicious.

    Like

  9. ardysez
    August 4, 2016

    Looks delicious–and quite moreish 🙂

    Like

  10. lucykharris
    August 4, 2016

    This looks delicious

    Like

  11. Linda Duffin
    August 4, 2016

    Lovely variation on the labneh theme, definitely one to try.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      August 4, 2016

      Thanks Linda, It’s a delicious way to use both carrots and yoghurt

      Like

  12. Francesca
    August 4, 2016

    I love the idea of carrot labneh- another bookmark for my return.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. katechiconi
    August 4, 2016

    We lack a decent deli up here where I’d be able to buy asafoedita, but I reckon a bit of fenugreek might answer instead. What do you think? I make my own yog from milk to which I’ve added lactase, as I’m lactose intolerant. It seems to turn out fine, but I’m yet to try making labneh with the result. I’ll let you know if it’s no good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      August 4, 2016

      The original recipe has a clove of garlic included, if that’s OK for you use it instead of asafoetida or fenugreek. I think you should be able to make labneh with your lactose free yoghurt. I did it successfully a few years ago. I’m able to tolerate yoghurt. Apparently most of the lactose is consumed by the acidophilus

      Like

      • katechiconi
        August 4, 2016

        Still too much lactose left for my very irritable insides, hence making my own. I have fenugreek and garlic, I’ll put it on the Must Try list!

        Like

  14. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    August 4, 2016

    Really love these flavours (and you generally can’t go wrong with the Maloufs). Just how different is the labneh you describe from thickened Greek yoghurt? This type of Greek yogurt is labelled as staggismeno which often translates as yogurt ‘cheese’ – derived from the Greek verb staggisto which means to strain. I expect they are the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      August 4, 2016

      In Australian Greek yoghurt is generally quite thick often thickened with inulin and is similar to stiffly whipped cream, but it has a mild sweetness rather than an acidic edge. My labneh, made from natural pot set yoghurt, had the the consistency of firm cream cheese and retained it’s acidic edge. Hope that help in your choice of yoghurt Debi…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
        August 4, 2016

        Here in Greece you can get thick natural ‘pot set’ yogurt that definitely has that acidic edge. Now, big commercial brands are a different story!

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 4, 2016 by in Dips and Spreads, Food, Gluten Free, Side Dishes & Salads, Snacks and tagged , , , .
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