Fresh Yogurt Cheese (Labneh)

Labneh is a fresh yogurt cheese popular in the Middle East. It's great spread on a bagel as a guilt-free swap for cream cheese.

Yield:

Makes 2 1/2 cups (32 balls) (serving size: 4 cheese balls)

Nutritional Information

Calories 106
Fat 5.7 g
Satfat 2 g
Monofat 2.5 g
Polyfat 0.4 g
Protein 10 g
Carbohydrate 5 g
Fiber 0.0 g
Cholesterol 8 mg
Iron 0.0 mg
Sodium 158 mg
Calcium 80 mg

Ingredients

4 cups plain reduced-fat (2%) Greek yogurt, or 2 1/2 cups store-bought labneh
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, plus additional for serving

Preparation

1. In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt and salt. (If using store-bought labneh, skip to step 2.) Line a fine-mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth (allowing extra to drape over sieve); place sieve over a deep bowl or large (8-cup) liquid measure. Transfer yogurt to prepared sieve. Gather edges of cheesecloth around yogurt mixture; tie with kitchen twine. Transfer bowl, sieve, and yogurt to refrigerator; drain 12 hours (discarding liquid occasionally to make sure liquid collected from yogurt in bowl doesn't touch sieve). Remove yogurt cheese from cheesecloth.

2. Use clean hands to roll cheese into 1-inch balls (about 1 rounded tablespoon each). Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat; add oregano and cook until crisp and fragrant (about 1 minute). Cool oil and oregano completely (discarding darkened oregano, if desired) and pour over yogurt cheese to serve. Garnish with fresh oregano.

Note:

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Caroline Wright,

March 2012