Sometimes the simplest things can be fabulous especially when revisited. Compliments time after time after time and great for summer! This is what I have presented as a starter – labneh, dukkah and watermelon with a sprinkling of fresh mint and a dressing made mainly with pomegranate molasses.
It has been a while since I have made dukkah or Labneh (labna, lebnah, labne, labni,). Both are simple to make and are very versatile. I like having things on standby and both keep well in the fridge in a sealed glass container.
Dukkah is a dry spicy mix of sesame seeds, nuts (can be hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts) and spices – mainly cumin and coriander – but variations also include small quantities of black pepper, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Apart from dipping good quality bread into extra virgin olive oil and then into dukkah, I may use it as a topping for cooked vegetables and salads or a crumb coating for meats, fish, cheese or vegetables.
I use a heavy frypan to toast everything. I used a combination of pistachio, walnuts and pine nuts in mine. If you use pine nuts they will need very little toasting – they burn quickly. I also added pepitas; this seemed appropriate because of the watermelon.
Labna is strained yoghurt and can be used in both in savoury and sweet dishes. It is popular in the Middle East and I mostly use Labneh as I do feta, for example to stuff figs or in dips.
500 ml full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
Dressing for Watermelon, combine together:
1 lemon: juiced + zest
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a few drops of sesame oil and of flower or orange water
1 fresh chilli, cut finely (optional)