Spinach Roti and Za’atar Labneh

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I have met a lot of lovely people on social media. Many of who are really talented cooks and bakers, specializing in foods I am not very familiar with. Archana from @foodyfables is one of those. Her feed is awesome and food inspiring. If she had a website, I would link this to her, but she doesn’t. So, if you have Instagram, check her out. She posted about a spinach roti and I was so intrigued, I had to give it a try. It is a super easy flat bread that is common in Indian cooking. That is where the idea for this Spinach Roti with Labneh Za’atar came from. If you haven’t heard of Za’atar, don’t worry. It is just a middle eastern spice mix. I love the mix and can’t get enough. You can always make it, but I just bought mine. It is generally easy to find.

Because the labneh takes some time to make, I will start with that. Use a whole or partial fat plain yogurt. I grabbed a Greek yogurt for this, but it is not my preference. I actually like regular yogurt instead. The Greek yogurt makes the labneh so thick and not as creamy as I like. But…it is what I had, so I used it.

Add the salt and mix. This will help separate out the whey.

Mix well to incorporate.

Strain through cheesecloth. I have shown this recipe before, so you can check this post as well.

You can tie this up and hang it over the sink, or over a bowl like I did.

I have it hanging from a wooden spoon. Fancy, right?

It gets a little heavy, so make sure and tie it twice.

It takes 6-24 hours to drain. I just threw mine in the fridge overnight. Next, let’s start the roti. Throw the spinach into a food processor or blender. This is the food processor I have loved and used for so long. Don’t you love appliances like this?

Pulse until it is all chopped very fine.

You use a wheat flour for the roti, there are so many varieties, but I finally settled on this kamut flour.

Archana mixes her roti by hand, but I am lazy and threw it in my Bosch.

Add all ingredients and mix for several minutes until it is smooth. Cover and let it rest for about 30 minutes. This is important with any dough you have mixed with flour in it. If the dough hasn’t had the chance to “rest” it will try and constantly pull back in on you. When it is well rested it is relaxed and easy to roll.

Divide dough into 10 portions. Isn’t it such a beautiful color?

I love to use my bench knife when working with dough. It is the best! I should have videod me rolling the dough, so you could get an idea. Roll it into circles, then roll with the rolling pin.

Roll thin like a tortilla. I sprinkled the counter top with a little flour. You don’t want to use a ton, but enough to keep the roti from sticking. Archana says to dip each piece in flour, then roll. I sprinkled instead, as it is how I roll any dough I am using.

You can use any pan your prefer, which for me would have normally been my cast iron. My nonstick was already on the cook top though, so I used it. Heat it well. I greased mine with just a touch of canola oil. Cook for a minute or on each side. Archana recommends cooking it over and open flame after this for the char. I think it is beautiful this way and recommend doing the same. If you don’t want to, just brown in the pan.

Here is what mine look like after a little time on the flame. The next day when I made them again, yes they were that good, I charred a little longer. They were beautiful.

Time to unveil the labneh.

This one was really thick as I used a Greek Yogurt, which is why I like regular yogurt.

Scoop it on to your platter, or plate you are serving it on.

If you can tell from the photo, the consistency is not perfectly smooth, but still really good anyway! I just noticed how wrinkly my shirt is. Good grief, was I sleeping in my clothes??

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Za’atar. I also like mine salty, so I sprinkled with some good quality sea salt. There are plenty of recipes online for za’atar, but it is pretty easily accessible to buy as well, which is what I chose.

I made a mezze platter of sorts with it. In our house, no mezze platter is complete without cucumbers. I love to cut the cucumbers in ribbons. You can do this easily on a mandoline or with a vegetable peeler like I showed here.

Use whatever vegetables you like.

The best comment of the evening was when one of my boys said, “this doesn’t even taste like spinach”! That says a lot coming from them!

One thing about Indian food is it is really beautiful! Everything about it is vibrant and comforting.

So, looking for a healthy snacking option? Definitely check out this Spinach Roti with Za’atar Labneh.

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Labneh

This simple to make soft cheese is wonderful on it one or as a base for add ins. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword cheese recipes, Labneh, soft cheese recipes,
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Author Amy- A Red Spatula

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  • Mix the salt with yogurt. 
    Pour yogurt into double layers of cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth onto a wooden spoon hanging over a bowl- as shown in the photos. Place into fridge. Let it sit at least 24 hours. The whey will  strain out. Mine took about 30 hours. 
    From here you can eat the cheese as is. Or you can marinate it, as shown in photo. Simply fill a jar with good quality olive oil, minced garlic and herbs of choice. I used salt, pepper, basil, oregano and thyme. Drop the labneh into the olive oil mixture with a portion scoop. Let this marinate in the fridge for several days at least. I love to eat the marinated cheese spread over toast or rice cakes!
    I also use it spread on pitas as a base.
    Or you can mix in minced garlic, salt and pepper. Top with olive oil and herbs of choice- It makes a pretty presentation when the herbs and olive oil are sprinkled on top. Use it on a mezze platter with veggies, crackers pita chips etc. 
    Your friends will be so impressed with your “cheese” making skills. So, sit back and enjoy the praise!
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Spinach Roti

This Indian flatbread is absolutely worth the effort. It is healthy, loaded with spinach, whole wheat flour and spices.This recipe comes from an Instagram friend of mine named Archana. She is a lovely person and amazing creator of all things Indian food.
Course Appetizer, Bread
Cuisine Indian
Keyword roti, spinach roti, whole grain bread, whole wheat, whole wheat flatbread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Archana

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour plus more for rolling. Also, I use a kamut wheat flour for mine. It was amazing.
  • 3/4-1 cup spinach puree I made mine in the food processor and it took about 6 cups to make a little under a cup.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds I didn't have these, so I used ground cumin,
  • 2 teaspoons oil I used olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water Archana suggested 1/4 cup water. Both times I made it I needed more water. So, be mindful, this will be a variable.

Instructions

  • Pulse garlic with spinach in blender or food processor to get a puree.
    Now, at this point, you can either knead by hand or by stand mixer, which is what I did. Add all ingredients to the mixer and mix on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes.
    If you are kneading by hand, Archana gives instructions like this:
    Add spinach puree to flour, add carom seeds (or cumin), salt and mix. Slowly add water and start mixing and kneading dough. You may need more or less depending on water content of spinach puree. Knead to a soft dough, then add oil and knead again.
    Regardless of mixing method, allow the dough to rest for 30- 45 minutes.
    Divide dough into 10 pieces. Dip each piece in flour and roll in a round, thin piece, like a tortilla.
    Place on an oiled, heated hot skillet. Once you see bubbles form, flip to the other side. It should take about 30 seconds per side. Next, move to an open flame and make it puff.
    Brush with melted butter or ghee. Serve it hot!

About The Author

Amy