Manakeesh

For a healthy vegetarian snack, try Merrilees Parker's recipe for Middle Eastern wraps with yogurt cheese, herbs and spices
By Merrilees Parker
Manakeesh
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 24 hrs to strain the yogurt
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the manakeesh

  • 4 rounds flat middle-eastern bread, (preferably Lebanese) or 4 tortillas
  • 4 tbsp za'atar spice mix
  • 6 tbsp labneh or soft goats' cheese
  • 1 cucumber, cut into 8 lengthways
  • 4 tbsp mint leaves, picked but not chopped
  • 2 very ripe tomatoes, cut into 8

For the zaatar

  • 75 g dried thyme
  • 25 g sumac
  • 25 g sesame seeds
  • olive oil

For the labneh

Tips and Suggestions


Za'atar is a popular mixture of spices that originated in the Middle East.
Labneh is a white Middle Eastern yogurt cheese made from sheep, cow, or occasionally goat milk.
Manakeesh is a traditional Middle Eastern baked bread with toppings.
Sumac is made from the dried berries of the tanner or elm leaf spinach

Method

1. To make the za'atar, place all the ingredients in a dry frying pan and heat through, stirring constantly, until well-toasted. Blend the mixture in a food processor with just enough olive oil to make a thick paste.

2. For the labneh, place the muslin in a large glass bowl, making sure that the material hangs over the side. Season the yogurt to taste with sea salt and then pour into the muslin. Tie the corners together and hang from a shelf in the fridge with a drip bowl underneath and leave to drip for 24 hours.

3. Heat a large flat griddle pan to smoking hot, then lay a piece of bread in the middle. Spread the surface with a tablespoon of za'atar and then spoon over a quarter of the labneh. Heat through for about 1-2 minutes until the topping starts to bubble.

4. Remove from the griddle and layer the cucumber, mint and tomatoes on top. Season with salt and finish with a generous twist of black pepper, then roll up and serve.

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