Monday, March 1, 2010

Yogurt Cheese With Herbs

There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. ~Logan Pearsall Smith

Yogurt cheese is an easy and delicious herb treat to make in any season, but especially when you have fresh herbs to snip. I use plain yogurt, but regular or lowfat is fine. If you can buy Greek style yogurt that is even nicer. You'll want about a tablespoon of snipped herbs. You can use any combination of chives, basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, lemon thyme, or garlic chives. All of these are usually available in the grocery store if you don't grow them yourselves. I use scissors and cut up all the herb leaves after removing from the stems. They can be minced as well. You can also use dry herbs, but cut the amount in half.

Place a half of 32 ounce container of yogurt in a strainer. I have a yogurt cheese strainer I picked up but you can use cheese cloth placed over a bowl, or another type of strainer. As long as the yogurt drains into a container, and you can place the entire thing in the refrigerator, you'll be all set. Add the herbs and about a tsp. of minced garlic to the yogurt. Gently mix them into the yogurt, then cover and place in the refrigerator. You can allow this to drain for a few hours or even overnight. At that point add a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Use it as a dip with vegetables and crackers, or a spread on bagels. You don't have to put the herbs in before straining, but it gives it time to blend as it's draining.

This recipe is a perfect one for experimenting with herbs. You can use oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, dill, sage, garlic chives. For a different flavor try minced cilantro, chili peppers and garlic, then serve with tortilla chips.


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