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.