Monday, January 16, 2017

Labneh with Pita Chips


My friend Geets and I relish talking about what we cook and eat. Conversations are almost always interspersed with talk of the where, what and hows of food. She and I have shared a recipes and kitchens through the years, and the labneh is one of those red letter gems. She made this for me last year, then generously shared the recipe. This reliable and dressed up staple graces the appetizer table often. 

Labneh is a thick, tangy, yogurt. It's Middle Eastern ethnicity lets it adapt to bright flavors. Greek yogurt could be used if you can't find labneh.  Swirled thickly on a plate, then dressed up with lemon zest, parsley, pistachio and pomegranate, a drizzle of olive oil sends it over the top. Toasted pitas lifts it to the next level!

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups Labneh or thick Greek Yogurt 
2 teaspoons Lemon zest
2 teaspoons Parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon Pistachios, roughly chopped 
1 heaped tablespoon Pomegranate seeds
2-3 pinches Sumac
1 pinch Kosher Salt 
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
4-5 Pita
Olive Oil Spray

Heat oven to 350F.

Tear pitas into 1 or 2 inch pieces by hand.

Scatter pita shreds on a baking sheet.

Spray chips with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes till light brown.

Take pitas out of the oven, cool and put in a resealable plastic bag.

Use a colored platter or plate for the labneh. Something that offsets the white of the yogurt.

Spoon labneh onto plate and smooth it with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle lemon zest over labneh.

Scatter parsley, sumac and salt over lemon zest.

Top with pistachios and pomegranates.

Drizzle olive oil and refrigerate till you serve.

Serve labneh with pita chips.

Needless to say, this appetizer is demolished  every time it makes an appearance. It was love at first sight when Geets made it for me. And it's the same feeling that washes over me when I make labneh. Thank you Geets....your friendship is a gift that keeps recipe at a time.