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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Perfect Breakfast (part two): Sweet Labneh with Rose Water, Honey, Figs & Pistachios

It's hard to define perfection (as nobody is perfect) but some things can come as close to perfection as we know it. In the fascinating world of  culinary delights many things can be just perfect.
My Savoury Labneh with Mint and Olive Oil was another example that showcases how something so  simple and unpretentious has a life of its own and can become a gourmet experience in itself. 

Simple things aren't bland by any means. Sometimes I find myself craving something as mundane as fish and chips or chicken and (bukhari) rice, the staple food in the Arab world. We turn things "gourmet" by just adding a few extra touches: a surprising combination of spices or an interesting pairing of ingredients. 

I dare say this dish is gourmet by revamping it and boosting its taste with  the delicate flavour of rose water, crunchy pistachios and giving it the soft sweetness of honey and figs. 

Sweet Yoghurt Cheese with Honey, Figs and Pistachios

Type of cuisine: Middle Eastern/Fusion

Preparation time: 12 hours (to make the labneh, if you haven't done so) & 5 minutes for presentation/decoration


rose water


crushed pistachios

chopped mint



Mix the labneh with a spoonful of rose water.  Chop the mint, crush the pistachios, slice the figs

To decorate drizzle honey over the cheese & sprinkle the mint and the pistachios  on top. 

As a serving suggestion, I would recommend toasted ciabatta, if you don't have or haven't baked your own fresh tamis. Tamis is a flat Middle Eastern/Afghan bread that goes so well with dips. 
Because I didn't have tamis, I made use of what was handy :) I oven-toasted the ciabatta with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and honey. As you can see from the picture below, I spread the cheese on the bread and had the most delicious (fusion, I must say) sandwich ever tasted :) It's a great combination that I urge you to try asap.

A perfect breakfast calls for an unforgettable morning read: Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif. 

“Is it that happy stretch of time when the lovers set to chronicling their passion . when no glance , no tone of voice is so fleeting but it shines with significance . when each moment , each perception is brought out with care , unfolded like a precious gem from its layers of the softest tissue paper and laid in front of the beloved - turned this way and that , examined , considered.”   

“I'm taken over by this trunk. I'm practically living inside it. When I read the journals I feel as if I'm there, a hundred years ago. I'm putting together the whole picture and I know everything that happened and wasn't written down"