Chilli and Walnut Labneh Balls in Olive Oil

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It’s almost Christmas Day. But there is still time to make a wonderfully tasty gift for the special foodie in your life. This homemade organic gift will let your closest friends and family know just how much you love them and I can guarantee you that they will love to receive it.

Use the finest olive oil that you can afford. I use organic fairly traded extra virgin olive oil from Palestine. I think it’s the very best in the world and by supporting vulnerable farmers, you really are making a difference to people’s lives.

Traditionally eaten as part of a mezze with warm pita bread, labneh is a light and creamy dish with extra crunch, flavour and depth from the chilli and walnut. Who wouldn’t want to tuck into that on Christmas day?

Walnuts and chilies are powerful antioxidants, lowering cholesterol, fighting inflammation and removing toxins from the body, so you can eat with confidence.

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ingredients
400g Greek style yoghurt
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
3 medium red chillies, (2 deseeded and finely chopped)
1.5 cups walnuts, chopped
6 walnut halves, whole
500g organic extra virgin olive oil

2 cheese clothes

method

1. place the two cheese clothes over a sieve in a cross formation and place the sieve over a pot or large bowl
2. mix the salt and yoghurt together in a bowl and put in the cheese clothes on the sieve
3. wrap the edges up into a tight ball round the yoghurt and tie an elastic band around ‘the neck’ and leave to strain in the sieve and bowl
4. leave in a cool place or in the fridge for 24hrs to 30 hrs
5. a day or two later, when you come to finish the labneh, mix the strained yoghurt with the chopped chilli and walnuts in a ball until they are evenly distributed
6. half fill a jar with olive oil, ready to put the rolled balls into
7. roll the labneh into ping-pong sized balls and place in the oil until the jar is full
8. add the whole chilli and whole walnut halves into the jar along side the labneh balls then top up with the oil until everything is covered with oil
9. close the jar and wrap with ribbon or decorations.

 

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