Labneh and za’atar – NRK Mat – Recipes and inspiration


Pour the yogurt into a colander and leave it over a bowl in the fridge for 4-6 hours. Watch out for the whey, it is fantastic to drink with ice cubes and a few mint leaves!

Take out the drained yogurt and put it in a bowl. Season with salt. Spread it on a dish, drizzle abundantly with zaatar and olive oil.

Serve with cucumbers, carrots, warm pita bread or toast, as an appetizer or dinner. It is delicious for breakfast, preferably with a poached egg on the side.


Shake the sesame seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and only until lightly colored. Let them cool and mix them with dried herbs.

Add the sumac and salt, little by little, as you taste it. There is really nothing here. Za’atar comes in all varieties, salty and sour and some only aromatic, so give it a try.

If you use spices, first shake them a little in the pan, as with sesame seeds, grind them and add them to the mixture.

You can run the whole mixture through the mixer, sometimes bumpy, so that something gets crushed and something else gets completely. It gives a perfect paste when you mix with olive oil.

Make a large portion and store in an airtight glass. Sprinkle mixture over labneh, eggs or bread or toss with oil as needed.

The recipe is suitable for a 1/2 liter jar of jam.



Wild Za’atar growing in the Middle East.

Photo: Henrik J. Henriksen

Za’atar is both the name of the spice blend and several herbs. Anyone who goes under the “wild” za’atar tastes extremely strong. Cultivated za’atar is sweeter and that’s what we call sar in this country. It’s so sweet that it’s often used in large quantities as the main ingredient in our own salads.

The spice can be mixed with olive oil and used as a dip or garnish.

Source: Henrik J. Henriksen

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