This Balsamic Pomegranate Labneh Dip is a simple sugar free appetiser that’s so easy to make! Labneh is made by straining natural yoghurt, giving you a healthy dip that tastes deceptively creamy and indulgent. It’s perfect for entertaining and parties, it looks so gorgeous plated up (and with very minimal effort on your part).
I’ve been regularly making labneh at home ever since I received a copy of the cookbook Ferment, Pickle, Dry – it’s full of so much lovely recipe inspiration, and my favourite section is by far all the fermented stuff. Labneh is strained yoghurt and is sometimes called “yoghurt cheese”. You make it very simply; by straining plain yoghurt through a cheesecloth, which removes lots of the whey and leaves you with a super thick spread, with the consistency of cream cheese but the lovely tang of yoghurt. Full of probiotic goodness, and high in protein too.
This Balsamic Pomegranate Labneh Dip is a bit of a fancy, pretty spin on good old labneh. The sweet balsamic dressing and the crunchy pomegranate seeds give an extra dimension to the dip. It’s so tasty you could just eat it with a spoon, but it’s also perfect served next to some vegetable crudites, crackers or alongside your favourite crusty bread.
You can make the labneh in advance and then simply spread it out on a plate and add the toppings just before serving. I’ve found that labneh keeps really well in the fridge for up to a week. One little tip: make sure to choose a THICK plain yoghurt to make your labneh with, so it sits in the strainer easily and to ensure a good result. I usually buy an unsweetened, full-fat, Greek or “Greek style” yoghurt as this is typically a thick-set yoghurt product which will hang really easily. The result is incredibly indulgently creamy – the perfect base for this Balsamic Pomegranate Labneh Dip!
Balsamic Pomegranate Labneh Dip
- 1 kilo Greek yoghurt, unsweetened, full-fat
- 150-200 grams pomegranate seeds (about 2 pomegranates)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried parsley*
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp dried chili flakes (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste
- You will need (1) a strainer, (2) a piece of cheesecloth (in a size which can be doubled over and then sit inside the strainer with enough cloth hanging over the edges so you can pick it up easily), and (3) a large bowl that you can hang the strainer over (with a gap of at least 2 inches between the base of the strainer and the bowl).
- Arrange your labneh making equipment. Fold your piece of cheesecloth in half and place it inside the strainer, with cloth hanging over the edges.
- Scoop all of the yoghurt into the lined strainer. Gently smooth it down if necessary, so the whole strainer is filled evenly with no gaps.
- Hang the strainer over the bowl. If you like, you can place a piece of clingfilm loosely over the top of everything, if you're worried about things falling onto the yoghurt while it's hanging.
- Carefully place the hanging yoghurt into the fridge for a minimum of four hours (I usually leave mine overnight).
- Once the hanging time is up, simply pick up the edges of the cheesecloth to lift the labneh out of the strainer. It should be firm, the consistency of a thick cream cheese spread.**
- Tip the labneh out onto a serving dish. Using a knife or spatula, smooth the labneh, leaving a few little ridges in the top (so the dressing can settle in there).
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and the honey. Pour over the labneh, followed by the olive oil. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds and dried parsley (and the dried chilli flakes, if using), and then finish with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Serve.