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Lemon Poppy Seed Labneh

Makes 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) for 8 servings.

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    Lemon Poppy Seed Labneh

    Labneh is a Lebanese style of cheese made by straining excess liquid (whey) from yogurt. The yogurt thickens to resemble a soft cheese with bright tangy flavour. For best results, use full-fat Greek yogurt. Experiment with different flavours using either cow or goat yogurt, then stir in anything from citrus to herbs and spices to dried fruit.

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    Make ahead

    Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    Variations

    Replace lemon peel and poppy seeds for the following variations.

    • Fresh Herbs: 2 tsp (10 mL) each chopped chives and fresh basil
    • Chia and Cranberry: 1 tsp (5 mL) chia seeds and 2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped dried cranberries
    • Garlicky Dill: 1 garlic clove (parboil first to soften sharpness), finely chopped, and 2 to 3 tsp (10 to 15 mL) chopped fresh dill
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    Lemon Poppy Seed Labneh

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups (500 mL) full-fat plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) poppy seeds
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated lemon peel
    • Honey, to taste (optional)

    Directions

    01

    Line nonreactive strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth. Set strainer over bowl, making sure the bottom of strainer doesnu2019t touch bottom of bowl.

    02

    Stir yogurt with salt, then scrape into cheesecloth. Fold ends of cheesecloth over yogurt and refrigerate for at least 1 day or up to 3 days. Occasionally drain off whey that collects in bottom of bowl.

    03

    Remove strained cheese (now itu2019s labneh!) and place in clean bowl; discard whey. Stir in lemon juice, poppy seeds, and lemon peel. Taste and add honey, if needed.

    04

    Spread on crackers or apple slices, or stuff into celery sticks. Make it portable and pack into small 4 oz (125 mL) Mason jars.

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