Yoghurt Cheese

Fresh soft cheese made from yoghurt is better known by its Middle-Eastern name, Labneh or in some cases by its Dutch name, Hangop Kaas. Whatever you choose to name it, this cheese makes a salad come to life and adds interest to cheese platters and a spread for cocktails.

1 litre Greek Yoghurt
salt and pepper
a handful of very finely chopped fresh herbs like basil, thyme, chives
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
500ml olive oil

Scoop the yoghurt into a mixing bowl and leave it out on the counter in your kitchen for a few hours until it starts to form a whey layer.
Rinse a muslin cloth in cold water and line the inside of a sieve with it, allowing the ends to hang over the sides.
Hang/suspend the sieve in a mixing bowl so that the whey can drip into the bowl.
Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to the yoghurt and stir through.
Pour the yoghurt into the muslin-lined sieve and place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Remove the bowl from the refrigerator, gather the ends of the muslin cloth and make a knot at the top. Push the handle of a wooden spoon underneath the knot and then place the spoon with each end resting on the side of the mixing bowl so that the muslin parcel hangs inside the bowl.
Place the bowl back into the refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours.

Now remove the yoghurt from the muslin cloth for the last time. Mix the yoghurt and soft, chopped herbs in a mixing bowl.
Sterilise 2 glass jars and dry them.
Scoop a tablespoon of the yoghurt cheese into your hand and roll it into a ball.
Place the ball into the glass jar and keep going with the rest of the cheese.
Slide the bay leaves and herb sprigs into the jars and fill them up with the olive oil.
Marinate the cheese for 2 days before use.
Store in the refrigerator.

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