Back from our holiday in Perth and I’m thankful that we missed, by one day, their hottest day on record. Sydney has also missed the intense heatwaves of the southern states, but it’s summer and in this new extra warm world our time, for the great big heat, will come. Even without heatwave temperatures Sydney is hot, sticky and humid, the kind of weather when a basic ingredient like labneh comes into its own. It’s perfect summer food, crush some garlic, add a bit of salt and pepper an you have a perfectly delicious dip for bread but if you can exert yourself to gently braise some grated carrot and garlic it becomes something extraordinary. The carrots intensify and sweeten the tart creaminess of the labneh and a touch of lime zest and chilli give an extra tang and bite.
You can eat this labneh dip anytime for breakfast, lunch or dinner – with a few extras – some olives, watermelon, slices of tomato, cumber and red onion it becomes a simple summertime feast.
This recipe comes from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s beautiful new book New Feast – Modern Middle Eastern Vegetarian, which, along with Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More and Hetty Mckinnon’s Community are my favorite cookbooks at the moment.
- 20g (3/4 ounce) unsalted butter
- 30 ml (1 floz) olive oil
- 150g ( 5 1/2 oz) carrots ( 1 1/2 – 2) coarsely grated
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of Turkish red chilli flakes
- finely grated zest of 1/2 lime
- 225g (8oz) Labneh (see note below)
- 1 tablespoon pure (double or heavy cream) or yoghurt
- extra virgin olive oil to serve
- Melt butter and oil in large fry pan over medium heat. Add carrot and garlic and gently braise, until carrot is tender and bright orange (about 5 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and lime zest and remove from heat.
- Allow carrot mix to cool down completely then add to labneh. Beat labneh, carrot together with extra cream or yoghurt until completely mixed, taste and add extra seasoning if desired.
- Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil on top.
Note -If you are making your own labneh here is a simple procedure. For this recipe the labneh should be drained for 12 hours.