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I fell in love with labneh after going to a few different Middle Eastern restaurants, and seeing that store-bought labneh was pretty expensive I wanted to see about making it myself. It's incredibly easy! It is a tad time-consuming due to the straining time, but worth it. I make this with nonfat yogurt due to both the texture and the addition of olive oil and sesame seeds, but feel free to use low fat or whole milk plain yogurt in this.
- Take a large swath of cheesecloth that you can fold over a few times and lay it out into a colander. Affix the colander to a bowl that leaves enough room to catch all of the whey that drips off.
- Measure out the sea salt, and put the yogurt into the cheesecloth, gradually mixing the salt in as it's spooned inches.
- Tightly bind up the cheesecloth to expedite the straining. Let strain in the fridge overnight.
- When done straining, remove the labneh from the cheesecloth and remove any loose strings, discarding the whey and cheesecloth.
- Divide the labane up into four bowls or serving dishes that hold about 6 ounces. Make wells in the centers of each one.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into each well, then add 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds to each as well.
- Sprinkle each bowl liberally with za'atar, about 1 teaspoon each.
- Serve toasted pitas and falafel, it's heavenly.