The chef Yotam Ottolenghi loves recipes requiring “little effort with a lot of interest and an ‘aha!’ moment in them.”
This dish is exactly that – all you have to do is get the yoghurt draining 24 hours ahead and voila! You’ve got your own labneh. Shop bought labneh or yoghurt mixed with double cream will do the trick if you didn’t prepare the day before – and it’s delicious topped with berries and an orange-infused oil.
Berry platter with sheep’s labneh and orange oil
- Small saucepan
- Food processor
- Large bowl
- 900 g sheep’s yoghurt, or cow’s yoghurt as an alternative
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 ml good-quality olive oil
- 10 g lemon thyme sprigs plus a few extra picked thyme leaves to serve
- 1 orange finely shave the skin to get 6 strips
- 200 g blackberries
- 250 g raspberries
- 300 g strawberries hulled and halved lengthways (or quartered if they’re larger)
- 200 g blueberries
- 150 g cherries pitted
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 lime finely grate the zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 tbsp
- Put the yoghurt and salt into a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Line a colander with a piece of muslin large enough to hang over the sides and place the colander over a bowl. Transfer the yoghurt to the muslin and fold over the sides to completely encase the yoghurt. Place a heavy weight over the muslin (a few tins or jars will do), and transfer to the fridge to drain for at least 24 hours (and up to 48).
- Meanwhile, put the oil into a small saucepan, for which you have a lid, on a medium heat. Heat gently for about seven minutes, or until tiny air bubbles form. Remove from the heat, add the thyme and orange strips, then cover with a lid and leave to infuse, ideally overnight, though half an hour will also do the job.
- The next day, put 50g of blackberries, 100g of raspberries and 100g of strawberries into the small bowl of a food processor along with the sugar and lime juice and blitz until completely smooth. Put all the remaining berries and the cherries into a large bowl along with the blitzed fruit and gently combine. You can serve it straight away or leave it in the fridge for a few hours, bringing it back to room temperature before serving.
- Spread the labneh out on a large platter. Spoon over the berries, then sprinkle with the lime zest. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the infused oil, along with a couple of the orange strips and the extra picked thyme leaves.
Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage, photography by Jonathan Lovekin, is published by Ebury Press.
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