I’ve been making Goat Labneh, a fresh homemade goat cheese. It is extremely simple in fact you will be very surprised just how simple it is to make creamy delicious fresh goat cheese at home. All you need is a big pot of creamy goat yoghurt.
I’ve used Meredith dairy yoghurt from the well known Victorian artisan producer www.meredithdairy.com . It’s a clean fresh yoghurt with a gentle goat flavour. You’ll find it in some health food stores and Harris farm Markets. I drained it just as you do to make regular Labne.
Before the delicious Labneh recipe I wanted to show you some of the interesting food I found on a trip to Penang in Malaysia. One of my favourite places in Malaysia to travel would have to be the amazing island of food and fun, Penang.
Nutmeg grows abundantly in these parts and is a real favourite as a fruit or pickled and candied but also fresh, as a drink. Drinking nutmeg juice is a lovely quirky Penang pastime. Like everything in life there are many different takes on what constitutes a good Nutmeg juice. Not all juices are equal with some being delivered to the table as a brownish iced drink with a sweet back note. These are produced from Nutmeg syrup (in bottles and commercially produced) that can be bought in the markets and shops. The real squeezed nutmeg juice is a white liquid that is often served with a sour plum floating in the bottom. It is sweet and savoury at the same time with the exotic and surprisingly delicate taste of nutmeg.
I hope to make some interesting things with that candied and pickled nutmeg. But for now, all my kitchen contains is this totally creamy and moorish fresh Goat Cheese or Labneh. I’ve called today’s recipe Goat Labneh Roasted Tomatoes Chives and Balsamic. You could make it from Greek yoghurt by draining for a day or use ready made Goat curd. It makes a great do ahead snack to keep people happy while you are busy in the kitchen.
- 500 gm goat yoghurt
- 250 gm cherry tomatoes
- 40 ml balsamic vinegar
- 40 ml olive oil
- ¼ cup chives snipped
- salt and pepper
- 25 gm pinenuts
- 50 gm bacon cooked to crisp, drained and crumbled (optional)
- 20 ml olive oil
- Fresh cracked pepper
- To make this fresh cheese you need to drain the whey from the yoghurt. The longer it drains the firmer the cheese. For this starter I like to drain it 8 hours maximum. I usually like to leave it overnight for best results.
- You need some cheese cloth or a nice clean tea towel. Some string or a firm elastic band and a sieve and bowl for draining.
- Spoon the yoghurt onto the cheese cloth or teatowel and draw up the edges so that the yoghurt is in a sort of sling , almost like a basket ball hanging in a plastic bag.
- Tie up the top so none of the yoghurt escapes. or simply rest the yoghurt over a sieve and bowl in the cloth pegging the top to hold the draining cloth in place. (as the picture above shows).
- Cover and leave to drain overnight. A lot of liquid will escape leaving a creamy firm goat cheese.
- Discard the liquid and turn the cheese into a bowl till you are ready to use it.
- Pre heat the Oven 180 C / 350 F
- Put the cheery tomatoes into a bowl with the balsamic and the 40 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil. Toss and season well with salt and pepper and put into the oven until the tomatoes just start to soften, approximately 10 minutes. Put them into a container to cool (they taste better at room temperature. Don't serve them chilled)
- Put the chopped bacon onto a tray and roast till crispy and golden, drain on baking paper (optional)
- Toast the pinenuts till lightly coloured and crunchy (8 minutes)
- Spread the yoghurt onto a dish. Sprinkle with half of the chives then spoon over the tomatoes along with any pan juices, balsamic and olive oil.
- Sprinkle with the remainder of the chives, nuts and bacon and serve with biscuits or pita bread.
you can substitute basil for chives or use both.
This can also be spread onto bruschetta toasts too!