Labneh is a cheese made from strained yogurt; it’s creamy, tangy and incredibly easy to make yourself. Although this recipe has a few moving parts and steps, the finished product will undoubtedly delight, as this dish looks and tastes like it came from a restaurant kitchen. Biting into a roasted, caramelized beet that’s smothered in homemade labneh is an explosion of flavour, and the addition of sweet honey, toasted hazelnuts and fresh basil takes the texture over the top. To save on time, you can buy storebought labneh, but we highly recommend making your own!
Roasted beets and hazelnuts
This recipe requires 24 hours rest time.
For the labneh, place a sieve over a bowl. Make sure the sieve is not touching the bottom of the bowl and line it with cheesecloth or a fine dish towel.
Pour in the yogurt. Twist the top of the cheesecloth or towel to close and cover everything with a dish towel.
Place in the fridge for 24 hours so the liquid drips down from the yogurt into the bowl. Full disclosure, your fridge will smell like labneh.
Once the 24 hours has passed, take the labneh out of the fridge and remove it from the cheesecloth or towel, place it in a bowl and stir in the lemon juice and sea salt.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the beets on a sheet of tinfoil, poke a few holes in the beets with a fork, rub them with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and pepper on top, tightly close the foil and place on a tray in the oven to roast for 50-60 minutes, depending on the size of your beets.
When the beets have 10 minutes left in the oven, toss the hazelnuts on a tray and toast them in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Take them out of the oven, place them in a kitchen towel and roll them around in the towel to remove their skins. Roughly chop.
When the beets are ready, place in a sieve and run under cold water. Use a paper towel or a spoon to peel the skins off of the beets. Slice into wedges.
To assemble, spoon the labneh on a platter and spread it out.
Place the beet wedges on top, then sprinkle with hazelnuts. Drizzle with honey and extra virgin olive oil, then top with fresh basil leaves and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.