Herb-Flavored Labneh Cheese Balls
You must have seen them in Lebanese supermarkets stored in jars of oil and herbs. They are very delicious and last long. They are called Labneh Kabiss or Makdous, which means Labneh Pickles.
- Follow the instructions of the Labneh Main Recipe but leave the yogurt to drain for 3 full days (72 hours) instead of 20h-24h. This time period will allow the Labneh cream to harden further.
- With an oily spoon, and oily hands, roll the cream into small balls
- Coat them with Lebanese Zaatar, as much or as little as you prefer the taste to be. I recommend full coating.
- Fill half an air-tight jar with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and carefully place the Cheese Balls in.
- Add in some dry Zaatar leaves (Thyme); if unavailable to you, substitute with Rosemary leaves.
- Pour in more Extra Virgin Olive Oil to saturation, tighten the jar, and place in a cool area for a week. You don’t need to refrigerated it. The Olive Oil preserves them well.
The Lebanese Zaatar is a delicious and super powerful healthy mixture of ethnic dried thyme with added oregano, marjoram, coriander, anis, cumin, toasted sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. Its strong reputation of empowering the mind has always brought Lebanese students to eat warm Man’oush Zaatar on their way to their exams. I was no exception!
Some stores sell Zaatar bags without sumac. If that is the case with your local store, I recommend you add sumac, for it makes a great difference in taste. For 1 big bowl of Zaatar, add 2 tablespoons of sumac.