Eating cuisine from around the world brings diversity to your knowledge about that place and your taste buds! This traditional Balkan meal is sure to be a hit with the family. Roasted asparagus with za'atar, smoked labneh and preserved lemon, can you say yum? A special thank you goes out to the Greek-inspired restaurant, Zaytinya for this recipe!
- Prepare a smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions. We like to use cherry wood chips for this but Applewood and grape vines are great as well.
- Place labneh in a metal container (like a small mixing bowl or a baking dish) and smoke for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
- When the cheese has cooled, mix thoroughly and season to taste with salt.
- Preheat the broiler of your oven with the broiler pan sitting underneath.
- Prepare the preserved lemon by removing and discarding the flesh and finely dicing the peel.
- Mix the diced preserved lemon with the olive oil and reserve for plating.
- Toss the trimmed asparagus with the grapeseed oil and salt.
- Remove the broiler pan from the oven and place the asparagus on the pan.
- Place the pan with the asparagus back under the broiler and cook until asparagus is almost tender a lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes depending on your oven. Toss with za’atar.
- Spoon the smoked labneh onto the bottom of the plate.
- Place the roasted asparagus on top of the labneh.
- Spoon the preserved lemon oil over the asparagus and serve.
*Note: This recipe makes much more smoked labeh than required for the dish. Feel free to make less. Smoked labneh is a versatile and delicious ingredient that works as a spread with pita bread, as a garnish for lamb chops or to compliment almost any vegetable preparation. It is worth it to make extra.