16 July 2013

Recipe review: Yvette van Boven's Spicy Labneh

I love Yvette van Boven's latest cookbook, Homemade Summer.  The recipes are clever and inviting, the photography and typesetting, a mix of "handwritten" and typed fonts, is whimsical without being sickening, and van Boven's writing style is carefree and empowering in the kitchen.  An example: "you could add some sugar here, though I never do."  Another example: "you could add a splash of vodka, but then it won't be virgin.  Oh well."  Here's my adaptation of her super-fast, super-tasty yogurt-based dip which is heaven on the patio with drinks and unexpected friends.

Spicy Labneh

Adapted from Homemade Summer

1 garlic clove, minced and smeared into a paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup plain yogurt
generous handful chopped fresh herbs (mint, basil, parsley, dill, cilantro...)
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch crushed red pepper flakes

In a dry, hot pan, toast the cumin and sesame seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes (stir constantly).  Combine garlic, salt, and yogurt in a small serving dish.  Sprinkle paprika, toasted seeds, and red pepper flakes on top, drizzle with a little olive oil, and then sprinkle with fresh herbs.  Serve with toasts or a baguette.