Barb Hodgens
Barb Hodgens

Barb Hodgens loves to cook with alternative, healthy whole food ingredients, with a focus on gut health. Barb has overcome her own gut health issues through healthy eating. Share your ideas, comments and photos at the end of this post :)

Labneh with roast cherry tomatoes and pesto

A few ingredients yield something so delicious!

If you're looking for a fresh summer appetiser to add to your collection of healthy recipes, you'll love this creamy labneh, with juicy roasted cherry tomatoes, and dollops of homemade pesto. This combination yields a decadent, creamy, and rich appetiser dip. It’s simple, rustic perfection that’s delicious and looks colourful on a table. Serve it with crusty bread, naan, or crackers. This one’s perfect for sharing with a crowd and best of all, each component can be made ahead of time.

Labneh with roast cherry tomatoes and pesto

COMPONENTS

LABNEH
Labneh is a very thick, creamy Middle Eastern yogurt, often described as a yogurt cheese due to its cream cheese consistency. Labneh is tangier than store bought cream cheese however, and when made with homemade yogurt it’s guaranteed to be chock full of gut loving bacteria. Making labneh is super easy, all you need to do is strain homemade yogurt in a cheesecloth until the whey has drained. The longer you allow the yogurt to strain, the firmer your labneh will be. Stored in an airtight glass container, homemade labneh will keep for several months in the fridge. Go to our homemade labneh post for a lot more detail on how to make labneh at home.

TOMATOES
The best tomatoes to use for this recipe are cherry or grape tomatoes. These tomatoes are perfectly bite sized and bake in no time at all. When roasted they become concentrated, tender, bite sized, sweet and lightly caramelised bursts of flavour.

PESTO
We use our classic, made from scratch pesto for maximum flavour. Made in the Vibe Blender System it comes together in less than a minute and tastes worlds better than anything store-bought because it’s so fresh. Homemade pesto can be made ahead of time and stored in a sealed glass container for up to a week in the fridge. 

Labneh with roast cherry tomatoes and pesto

TO SERVE

Once you have all the components, plating up is easy. When you serve labneh, you can present it in different ways. We have simply untied the cheesecloth and left it in its rustic form. The traditional method would be to smooth it in a shallow bowl, creating a ‘well’ in the centre. No matter how you present it, finish the dish with flaky sea salt and black pepper.

Labneh with roast cherry tomatoes and pesto

WATCH HOW HERE


INGREDIENTS
 

2-3 cups homemade yogurt (dripped)
500g cherry tomatoes
¼ cup red onion finely chopped (approx. quarter of an onion)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or balsamic
¼ cup basil pesto (homemade tastes best)
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon flaky salt to sprinkle
Crusty bread or crackers to serve.

METHOD

All components can be made ahead of time and stored in airtight glass containers until you are ready to serve.

Labneh
There are many ways to strain yogurt and you may need to get creative with your set up. In hot weather, it is best to let the yogurt strain in the fridge. Spread a piece of cheesecloth over a sieve or colander resting in a large bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the centre of the cloth. Draw up the four corners and gently scrunch together without squeezing. Tie with a rubber band. Push a wooden spoon through the rubber band and place it somewhere to hang. Leave the yogurt dripping for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight. For a firmer cheese, let it hang for 24 hours. When it has stopped dripping you can unravel your bundle of yogurt cheese. Serve or store in an airtight glass container until require.

Labneh with roast cherry tomatoes and pesto

Pestofind method here.

Tomatoes
1.   Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F
2.   Wash the tomatoes, blot dry then spread into a small baking tray.
3.   Add the chopped onion, then toss with olive oil and salt.
4.   Bake for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes start to blister and are tender. The time will vary slightly based on the size of tomatoes, the type of baking pan used, and your oven. 
5.   Remove from the oven and let rest for a couple of minutes to cool down.
6.   Drizzle with vinegar then leave to cool completely. Do not stir.

Labneh with roast cherry tomatoes and pesto

To serve
7.   Plate up the labneh
8.   Gently transfer the tomatoes and the juices on or around the labneh.
9.   Dollop pesto and sprinkle with salt and pepper
10.  Serve with crusty bread or crackers. 

PIN THIS RECIPE

Labneh with roast cherry tomatoes and pesto


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