Lemon and garlic labneh topped with salsa verde and baked pita wedges

Lemon and garlic labneh topped with salsa verde and baked pita wedges

A rich and creamy yoghurt cheese that can be served as a dip or spread – perfect for sharing or entertaining. It is also great as part of a cheese course

Recipe and styling by Illanique van Aswegen

Photograph by Adel Ferreira

Lemon and garlic labneh topped with salsa verde and baked pita wedges

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 1 hr + overnight, to strain

Ingredients

  • LABNEH

  • 375g Greek or double cream yoghurt
  • 5ml (1 tsp) lemon zest
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch salt
  • PITA WEDGES

  • 2 large pitas
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • SALSA VERDE

  • 60ml (4 tbsp) fresh coriander
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) fresh basil
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) fresh mint
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh chives
  • 1 (40g) gherkin, chopped
  • 1 (25g) spring onion, chopped
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 5ml (1 tsp) Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • TO SERVE

  • 80ml sliced green olives
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) toasted pine nuts
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) caperberries
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) pomegranate rubies

Instructions

1

For the labneh, whisk all of the ingredients together and spoon into a muslin cloth that is lining a sieve over a large bowl. Leave enough room in the bowl for the liquid to drain, without it touching the sieve and muslin cloth. Cover the top loosely with cling film. Leave to strain in the fridge overnight.

2

For the pita wedges, preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut each pita into 8 wedges. Lightly brush each wedge with the 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil on both sides and arrange on the baking tray. Individually season with salt and freshly ground blackpepper, and bake, 5 minutes. Turn them over and bake, a further 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.

3

For the salsa verde, place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until fine. Season to taste.

4

To assemble, spoon the thickened labneh that has remained in the muslin cloth on a round serving platter and discard the drained liquid. Spread the labneh around the platter to form a ring. Spoon dollops of the salsa verde atop. Scatter the olives, pine nuts, caperberries and pomegranate rubies around the plate. Place the salsa verde in a bowl in the centre of the ring and serve with the pita wedges on the side.

Notes

Make the salsa verde as close to serving time as possible as the herbs will discolour on standing.

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