Labneh Appetizer

by Anna on March 20, 2011

in Appetizer,Drinks

Hi guys, this appetizer were kind of a stroll in memory lane for us. If there is something I really miss about NY is the amount of options of Über cool places to go and have a little drink and some yummy appetizers on the weekends. Places like PDT (please don’t tell) that you have to enter through a super secretive telephone cabin door. And inside all sorts of new drinks one more delicious than the other; The little owl, The spotted pig with April Bloomfield amazing food, Momofuko of course my very favorite in Manhattan, Casa Mono with a selection of little plates to blow your mind, or our favorite wine bar that everybody new us by our names. Also extremely low key and with delicious Italian antipasti to nibble while sipping some nice wine. Oh boy!!! I miss that… and all those places without the need to dress from head to toe in designer clothes and accessories and of course the necessity to be a size 0. Oh yes…. LA bar scene if you are not a size 0 something is very wrong with you. The hatred looks you get can burn your soul. I wonder when the bar scene will change here in LA, because there are really two types of places here, the fancy and beyond expensive places and the mediocre lousy ones it’s quite frustrating. And such lack of competition it’s absurd. If the place is just a bar… forget about nibbles…they don’t even serve peanuts. I don’t know about you but I need some enticing delicious nibbles to go with my drinks. So I decided to do it myself, which is totally cool, I don’t mind really because I have all I need right here in my love nest…lol. So every weekend we have a different theme and try a different drink. I’m not very big fan of sweet drinks but this one caught my eye, it sounded too interesting, Pears and rosemary. It’s inspired by Danny Meyer’s book “Mix, Shake, Stir “ (great book btw) and the best thing about having our private parties is that we don’t have to drive after drinking, which is a big no, no right?

Labneh cheese

  • 1 container 32 oz yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dry mint
  • Cheesecloth


Mix the salt and yogurt, Place yogurt in cheesecloth and place over strainer and bowl. Let sit in fridge for 12- 24 hours. After 12 hours it acquires a thick consistency. If a thicker Labaneh is preferred, leave to drain for another 12 hours. Now mix the dry mint and roll the cheese into little balls. You can keep them in a sterilized mason jar with olive oil.

Here is what I did; I put the little balls in some individual glasses to marinate with some extra virgin olive oil, black peppercorns, shaved garlic, and a bruised spring of thyme. You can use also add green peppercorns or red chili flakes for a spicier version. Enjoy.

Pear rosemary cocktail

For the rosemary simple syrup:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 springs of rosemary

Simmer it until all the sugar dissolves completely. Turn of the fire and let it steep for few minutes. Strain and let it cool down.

To prepare the drink:

  • Fill half of a pitcher with ice
  • 1 ½ cup of pear nectar such as Kern’s
  • 1 cup of vodka
  • ½ cup of the rosemary simple syrup
  • Mix it well and serve with a spring of rosemary.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris's Gourmet Fashion March 31, 2011 at 8:57 AM

This looks just amazing. Beautiful photos of your appetizer.

Magic of Spice March 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Both the drink and the appetizer are fantastic…must try that cheese 🙂

sheila @ Elements March 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM

The labnah cheese and pear cocktail both look wonderful!!! I might make the cheese tomorrow. Sounds so good!! 🙂

Adelina March 24, 2011 at 3:45 PM

oh Anna I have missed couple of your posts…. I need to catch up. I am always in awe on how you present your food. It’s always so simple but but beautiful in every way. Love the labneh and love the drink and love you’re re-create a bar-scene in your own home.

Kate @ March 22, 2011 at 4:08 PM

mmmmm some really nice flavors in this drink – I didn’t even know it existed. 🙂 Beautiful photos.

A Little Yumminess March 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Simple and easy and always your presentation is GOOD!!

Julia @ DimpleArts Photography March 21, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Sometimes it’s much better to have a few nibbles and drinks at home with good friends.

5 Star Foodie March 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM

The homemade cheese sounds amazing and I do love the sound of pear rosemary cocktail, such unique combination of flavors in this drink.

torviewtoronto March 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

cheese and beverage look beautiful must be delicious

Erica March 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I love the new look of your site!!! That looks amazing….:)

tamy March 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

E preciso fazer esse syrup de alecrim agora mesmo!!!! Adore!!!! Bj

tamy March 21, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Anna minha linda, parece que estamos bem conectadas. Fiz esses dias aqui em casa tbm… beijos

Claudia March 21, 2011 at 9:12 AM

I am enjoying – a little bit of a spring – a wee bit of a holdover from winter. Sublime.

Najwa Kronfel March 21, 2011 at 8:50 AM

The cocktail looks amazing! I will try it for sure! I just discovered your site, I love it!

a frog in the cottage March 21, 2011 at 8:08 AM

What a wonderful recipe !!! looks delicious

Mika March 21, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Vodka and fruit juice is my favorite!!! It doesn’t matter which type of fruit I choose, I always love the combination…
I really love your idea to have private party at home and to make every time a different cocktail…I want to start this habit too!!!
I took a bartender class 5 years ago, so officially, even since that I have never worked as bartender, I am a bartender…but I don’t make cocktail as often as I should do…

Sommer@ASpicyPerspective March 20, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Homemade cheese and pear cocktails?!? Hugs and kisses to you!!!

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