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Ever since I returned from Dubai, I've become fascinated by Middle Eastern cuisine. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Sahadi's in Brooklyn, and I discovered Labne. Labne is a dense yoghurt eaten in Syria and Lebanon. It's not as tangy as many of the Greek yoghurts I've tried in the past, but it has the same thick texture. You can flavor it with crushed mint and olive oil. Also, it doesn't have nearly as many carbs as most yoghurts. Labne from Karoun Dairies in California has just two grams of carbohydrates in a two tablespoon serving size .
For those of you on a low-carb diet, like the Atkin's, Labne is a great find. You can use it as a dip for hamburger meat. It can be a substitute for sour cream. It also tenderizes meat in a stew and adds a great creamy tang to a soup. For those of you not on a strict low carb regimen, I urge you to try it over bread with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, olive oil and maras pepper. When entertaining, Labne can serve as dip for bread. This month, the New York Times Magazine featured a recipe for labne-and-ricotta cheesecakes with rice, nut and raspberry relish.
Ah, the diverse ways you can add labne into your diet! Next time you have zaatar bread, dip it into labne and taste the gastronomic effects of this unique low-carb treat.
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