Spiced Labneh and Roasted Tomato Tartine

Yoghurt is one of the most important components of the modern Mediterranean diet and there is rarely a table where it isn’t featured in some form or other; as part of a main dish, as a dip mixed with chopped herbs, in a dessert or even as a drink. On Mondays, our evening meal often consists of various small plates of leftover salads, rice dishes and hummus. On days like these, I will make a yoghurt-based dish that is designed to cut through the rainbow of flavours; it’s always fresh from the tub and mixed up with whatever I have in the house including the bunches of fresh dill, mint and parsley I keep in a large jug on my kitchen window sill. To make labneh, simply place good quality Turkish or Greek yoghurt in a sieve lined with a square of muslin, place over a bowl and keep in the fridge for a couple of hours until some of the whey has drained away leaving a refreshingly light cream cheese. This forms the basis of this week’s tartine and here’s how to pull everything together.

Tartine

Ingredients

Labneh
250g good quality Turkish yoghurt (Greek yoghurt is also fine), strained as described above
1tsp of dried mint
Zest of 1 lemon and a teaspoon of the juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp of pul biber
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste

Roasted tomatoes:
x8 large tomatoes, cut in half
Wild oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste

Four slices of wholemeal sourdough
Extra-virgin olive oil
Pul biber, wild oregano and mint leaves to garnish

How I make it

Heat an oven to 150C.

Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with as much oregano as you like. Season to your taste. Place in the oven and roast gently for two hours. Remove from the oven and set side to cool.

In the meantime, mix the labneh with all the other ingredients. Season to taste and turn out into a bowl.

To assemble, toast the sourdough and spread generously with the spiced labneh. Place three-four tomatoes on top of each slice and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with more pul biber and a light sprinkling of wild oregano.

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