Homemade Labneh With Roasted Fruit, Walnuts And A Honey Thyme Drizzle
I love a challenge and when I heard that Chobani was asking home cooks to develop recipes for their “Made With Chobani” challenge I was inspired to create a recipe for them. I am a big fan of yogurt, I eat it every day and I am also a big fan of Chobani, it’s thick and creamy and delicious. I want you to know that I am NOT being compensated in any way for this, I am simply doing what I love to do, cook and meet a challenge and the opinion is completely my own.
They said the recipe can be a meal, appetizer or dessert. I used Chobani plain yogurt (4% milk fat) to make a healthful dessert that is not just delicious but it would make a lovely light dessert for the holidays. I adapted a recipe for homemade Labneh from one I found on Food52, roasted some seasonal pears and some grapes, toasted some walnuts, drizzled all of this with a simple honey thyme syrup and garnished with pomegranate arils.
What is Labneh, well it’s very simple, it’s yogurt cheese. When I say simple I really mean it, all you need is a good quality yogurt, like the Chobani yogurt I used, some lemon juice and a pinch of salt. No cooking required you only need to mix the lemon juice and salt with the yogurt and strain through a piece of cheese cloth or muslin. Labneh can be used with either a savory or sweet dish. for a savory use of Labneh drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt, dukkah, zaatar, herbs whatever you like. I used whole milk yogurt in my dish, it’s a bit of an indulgence for my Holiday Table but this cheese can be made with low fat or even “Zero” fat yogurt with the same creamy delicious results.
12 Oz Plain 2% or 4% Fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 – 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
Mix yogurt, lemon juice and salt thoroughly. Place strainer over a bowl and drape with cheese cloth, place yogurt mixture into the cheese cloth and fold over so the yogurt is covered. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. At 12 hours the labneh will be somewhat firm and spreadable and at 24 hours it will be even thicker. It’s wonderful either way.
Fruit and Walnuts
4 ripe pears peeled, cut in half and cored ( I used bosc)
1 small bunch red seedless grapes (removed from stem) approximately 2 cups
1 tbs butter
2 tbs organic sugar
1 1/2 cup walnuts
Pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degree’s. Butter a rectangular baking dish and place pears and grapes in the dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes, the fruit should be tender. Remove from oven. Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes approximately, you will know they are done when you can smell the walnuts be careful and watch the nuts they can burn quickly.
Honey Thyme Drizzle
1/4 cup honey of your choice
1/3 cup juice from cooked fruit
2 sprigs thyme
pinch of sea salt
Add the honey, juice and thyme sprigs to a small saucepan and simmer gently for 15 minutes, remove thyme sprig and remove from heat. If your fruit does not give off 1/4 cup of juice substitute another type of juice or water . You will need approximately 1/2 cup of the syrup.
You can set out on a platter or serve on individual plates. A slab of labneh surrounded by the roasted fruit, toasted nuts and drizzled with the honey thyme syrup, scatter some pomegranate arils over the fruit before serving.