When I made a big batch of preserved lemons last spring, I wondered how I’d ever use them all up. Now that I have discovered this preserved lemon labneh/yogurt dip, I worry I won’t have enough until the next round of lemons is ready.
I have now made the dip twice for two friends on two different continents whose birthdays are two days apart in February. (Hi Peggy! Hi Stéf!) Each time, I doubled the original recipe so I could have enough to have lots of leftovers. Each time, I ended up with just a couple of spoonfuls. And if that isn’t enough of a recommendation, let me just say that the time I served it beside a bowl of hummus, the hummus remained mostly untouched. And EVERYONE loves hummus.
I have scoured the internet to see if I can find some authentically Middle Eastern, exotic-sounding name that would do justice to the incredible, creamy-tangy-salty flavor you get from just three ingredients. All I found was , ‘Preserved Lemon Labneh’ or ‘Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce.’ Oh well. I’m calling mine a dip because everyone loves a dip (See above: hummus) and that’s really how it’s best: On its own with some sort of tasty vehicle (pita wedge, bread slice, cracker, crudité, or spoon) to carry it straight to your mouth.
Preserved Lemon Yogurt (or Labneh) Dip
1 large or 2 small preserved lemons, plus more for garnish
2 cups whole-milk Greek yogurt or labneh
coarsely ground black pepper
PAT the preserved lemon(s) or lemon quarters dry (or wash and dry if you want less salt), scrape out the pulp and reserve for another use, then finely dice the rinds.
STIR the preserved lemons and about 20 grinds of coarsely ground black pepper into the yogurt or labneh. Chill 2 hours or overnight to let flavors develop, if possible. Serve sprinkled with diced preserved lemon and more pepper as a dip, or use as a sandwich spread or main dish sauce.
Seasoning notes: Because the preserved lemons are salty, there’s no need to salt the dip. I recommend fresh, coarsely ground pepper because it keeps the dip snowy white and prevents it from tasting too peppery.