Labneh is a soft cheese that can be made at home with minimal effort and delivers a creamy and delicious cheese you can use and serve with endless possibilities. And I think this Zucchini Labneh Tart is a prime example of how versatile the cheese is. I spotted an image on Pinterest and immediately wanted to make it. After a bit of a search I came across the recipe for the tart from the book Fermented by Charlotte Pike.
This tart is deliciously moreish and a visual feast with the colours of the golden brown pastry against the bright green and ochre of the sliced zucchini and melted cheese. The hues of a summer in full swing or those fresh splashes of colour you need when in the midst of winter thanks to zucchini being available most of the year.
The dukkah sprinkled on top gives the tart a bit more depth of flavour and marries with the cumin to give the tart a delicious Middle Eastern flavour. It is labneh after all.
Perfect as a drinks party snack or serve it with a crunchy salad out on the veranda.vAnd as with all pastry tarts make sure the pastry is cooked underneath before removing from the oven.
Labneh is essentially a cheese made from straining yoghurt, resulting in a deliciously thick, creamy and tangy soft cheese. You can use it as you would any cream cheese, as the basis for tzatziki or spread it inside a pita or wrap.
The straining process is very easy and takes 12 – 48 hours. The longer you strain it, the thicker the cheese will become. Should you want a firm cheese to roll into balls you can strain it for the full 48 hours but I prefer to strain it for 24 hours. I also use a double cream full fat yoghurt.
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- 1 pack of ready-rolled puff pastry, defrosted
- ½ - ¾ cup labneh (see below)
- 1 beaten egg
- salt, black pepper and ground cumin to season
- 6 - 8 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced at an angle, about ½ cm thick
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 tbsp dukkah
- sprinkle of chili flakes (optional)
- 1kg double cream full fat plain yoghurt
- 1 tbsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Unroll the puff pastry onto a large baking sheet.
- Take a sharp knife and cut a border around the edge of the pastry, running roughly 2 cm around the edges of the pastry making sure not to cut through the pastry
- Spread the labneh over the pastry, taking it up to but not over the pastry border.
- Brush the border with the beaten egg
- Season the labneh with salt, pepper and cumin
- Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer over the labneh
- Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the zucchini
- Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until the border is puffed up, the cheese melted and the pastry is cooked underneath
- Sprinkle the tart with the dukkah and chili flakes if used and serve immediately
- HOW TO MAKE LABNEH
- Line a wire mesh strainer with cheese or muslin cloth and place it over a bowl.
- Add the salt to the yoghurt, mix and place into the lined strainer
- Tie the corners with some string and suspend the "bag" of yoghurt over a bowl so that that the whey can drain from the yoghurt into the bowl
- (I place a wooden spoon between two handles of a cupboard and then tie the string to the wooden spoon)
- Let the yoghurt drain in a cool place for 24 hours at least
- Scoop the labneh from the cloth, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days