Serves 6 to 8 (makes about 1 cup) | Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes, plus 8 hours draining
2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons dukkah
Extra-virgin olive oil
Head Start
Refrigerate labneh in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Finish Line
To create more surface area for drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling with spice, serve labneh in wide, shallow bowl. For a flavor twist, try substituting sumac, Za’atar , or another finishing spice blend for dukkah.
Perfect Pair
Serve with Marinated Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Saffron  or Lamb Fatayer . Or serve as mildly sweet dessert by omitting spice blend, drizzling labneh with honey, and serving with fresh fruit.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Lusciously creamy labneh can be scooped up and eaten like a dip, but this Middle Eastern ingredient, also known as yogurt cheese, can just as easily be layered with additional flavors and textures to create a snackable small plate. We like to top it with a Middle Eastern spice blend, dukkah, as the thickened yogurt’s tang is a nice foil to the blend’s toasty flavors. To end up with about 1 cup of yogurt cheese, we start with 2 cups of traditional yogurt, draining off the whey in a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Both regular and low-fat yogurt will work well here; do not use nonfat yogurt. Avoid yogurts containing modified food starch, gelatin, or gums, since they prevent the yogurt from draining. We prefer to use our Pistachio Dukkah or Hazelnut-Nigella Dukkah  here, but you can use store-bought dukkah too.
1 Line colander or fine-mesh strainer with triple layer of cheesecloth and place over large bowl or measuring cup. Place yogurt in colander, cover with plastic wrap (plastic should not touch yogurt), and refrigerate until 1 cup whey has drained from yogurt, at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours. (If more than 1 cup whey drains from yogurt, stir extra back into yogurt.)
2 Spread drained yogurt attractively over serving plate. Sprinkle with dukkah and drizzle with oil to taste. Serve.