At this time of the year our thoughts turn to the Summer months ahead with holidays, picnics, impromtu lunches outside and all sorts of delights. Unfortunately, these events have to be very last minute as we never know what the weather will bring us, often from hour to hour. You might have a friend call round for coffee and before you know it, it's lunchtime and you feel compelled to extend an offer to share some further refreshments.
At times like this it is very handy to have something delicious that you can fall back on, something tasty but not something that may be rejected on dietary grounds. If you have some oat cakes or crackers, some crusty bread even and a few bits of salad an impressive snack can soon be conjured up if you have this cheese in your cupboard.
It is very easy to make and can be made and eaten fresh, as they do in its homeland, the Middle East. No need to shape just put it into a pretty bowl and top with a swirl of good olive oil and some black pepper. I like to make it to keep and I think you will to. Why not give it a try?
You will need:-
Two big tubs of good quality plain unsweetened yoghurt
A small amount of dried herbs of your choice
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2-3 bay leaves
Good quality olive oil to cover
The first thing to do is to place a jelly bag or a straining cloth of muslin over a large bowl. Empty the yoghurt into the bag/cloth and hang up somewhere overnight to drain.
Pour around 3 cms/1 inch of olive oil into a large jar and carefully place the balls of cheese into the oil using one of your spoons. When you have a layer add more oil so that they don't stick together too much.
Add the coriander and bay leaves as you go. Make sure the last layer is covered with oil.
The cheese will keep for a long time - store it somewhere cool and dark - and you can lift out how many pieces you need for your meal and leave the rest covered in the jar.
When you have finished the jar you can use the oil which will be beautifully flavoured with the herbs, for cooking or salad dressings.