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Labneh with kumquat compote and wood sorrel

Wood sorrel is shamrock shaped with tiny yellow flowers which look pretty but also has a delicious sharp lemony flavour. A perfect starter for St Patrick’s Day – Green, White and Gold

Serves 4-6

225g labneh (drip natural yoghurt overnight)

kumquat compote (see recipe)

wood sorrel or fresh mint leaves

Drip the natural yoghurt in muslin overnight - 500g will yield between 225g - 250g of labneh.  Add back a little whey if it is too thick.

Save the whey for drinks, homemade lemonade, pickles or marinading meat or fish.

Make the kumquat compote (see p.00) and allow to get cold, (it will keep in the fridge for weeks).

To serve:

Put a good dollop of labneh on a cold plate. Drizzle some kumquat compote over the top and sides. Sprinkle a few wood sorrel leaves.

Grow Cook Nourish

Soft Yoghurt Cheese - Labneh

This thick, creamy, soft cheese from the Middle East is so easy to make and so wonderfully smooth that your friends will be mightily impressed if you produce it for a dinner party. This is an old recipe. I believe that dairy items like these were once made everywhere in Europe and elsewhere over many centuries and then forgotten at some stage, probably during industrialisation, so I have borrowed from those places where the traditions survived. Labneh is a real treat and an easy way to dabble in cheesemaking. It is also much-loved by children and is a good way for you to pass on your knowledge of old skills to them. It can be used for sweet or savoury dishes.

Use whole-milk yogurt for a creamier cheese – this can be made from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk. You can also use commercial yogurt.

Makes 500g (18oz) labneh approx.

1kg (2 1/4lb) natural yoghurt

Line a strainer with a double thickness of sterilised cheesecloth. Place it over a bowl. Pour in the yogurt. Tie the four corners of the cheesecloth to make a loose bundle and suspend this bag of yogurt over a bowl. Leave it in a cool place to drip into the bowl for 8 hours. Then remove the cheesecloth and put the labneh in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, and store until needed in a covered glass or plastic container. The liquid whey that has drained off can be fed to pigs or hens.

Kumquat Compôte

A bit of a tongue twister.

A gem of a recipe, this compôte can be served as a dessert or as an accompaniment to roast duck, goose or glazed ham.  Also delicious with goat’s cheese or yoghurt or labneh or even with slices of chorizo.

Serves 6-20 depending on how it is served

235g kumquats

200ml water

110g sugar

Slice the kumquats into four or five round depending on size, remove the seeds.  Put the kumquats into a saucepan with the water and sugar and let them cook very gently, covered, for half an hour or until tender.

Serve warm or cold.

Note: This compote keeps for weeks, even months in the fridge.

This is a recipe by
Darina Allen
View all my recipes

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