Guardian Girl

Labneh with olives and pistachios

Posted in Recipes by guardiangirl on October 16, 2009

Dinner: Yotam Ottolenghi’s labneh.

I didn’t strain my own yoghurt to make cheese.

I did this sort of thing with goat’s milk when I was inhabiting an iron age hill fort for a few months and I tell you what, it was foul. I also find that everything you need to know about straining is contained within its name. Leaving something to drip might not require much effort but it’s all those clean cloths and string and thinking about things 24 hours in advance that I find so offensive. I was out for dinner the night before I wanted to eat the labneh so I didn’t even have time to get the ingredients and begin the process.

I might have started off on the wrong foot but I ended on a right one, of sorts. I got a pot of natural yoghurt and a whorl of soft goat’s cheese and mixed them together in a big bowl, then I stirred in most of the other ingredients, including some sunblush tomatoes but excluding lemon zest (I looked at some lemons for a good five minutes, thought about the pile of washing up in front of the cupboard door where I keep my grater, and concluded I couldn’t be bothered), fresh oregano (where do you get this? Paxos?) and chilli flakes (I’d now reached a state of total unmotivation).

Anyway it made this surprisingly tasty dip. I got two crusty loaves – one granary and one white – and tried a bit of each with it. Really quite nice and the whole thing took me about ten minutes.

Labneh with olives, pistachios and oregano

Labneh with olives, pistachios and oregano


Lavvy with olives and pistachios

Lavvy with olives and pistachios

I’m sorry about the unimpressive presentation – it looks like an unappetising mess and I hope this does not bring too much shame upon me and my household.

Tomorrow I will not only buy the paper as usual and plan out my next week, but I will also become 30. Expect a new, epic and entirely appropriate level of commitment to perfection.


  • My bastardisation of this recipe makes a big, tasty dip to share with people. I’m going to have the remainder with Liv tonight before cooking banana caramel pie à la Dan Lepard.
  • With dips, you’re supposed to pay attention to the presentation to avoid that “waste product” effect. Another thing to add to the list of lessons learned from the Guardian: the importance of garnish. I’ll put some herbs on the leftovers for Liv’s benefit.
  • You’d perhaps have thought that yoghurt mixed with goat’s cheese would be a bit bleurghy but I thought it was pretty nice.
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One Response

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  1. lailablogs said, on October 17, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Great idea … Looks delicious ..
    Laila ..

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