Vegan Labneh with Lemon Myrtle & Beets

Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2021 ‘Heal Country’ through the love language of food. Lemon myrtle is a strong, citrus herb traditionally used by Aboriginal people in food. It pairs beautifully with yoghurt to create this vegan labneh topped with roasted pomegranate beets.

NAIDOC Week 2021 ‘Heal Country’

2021 National NAIDOC logo

When researching the 2021 theme of ‘Heal Country’, the words written on the NAIDOC website were powerfully emotional. The correlation of Country and identity: the way ‘Country’ sustains lives in every aspect – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally reflect the deep connection of indigenous community to Country. On the other end of the spectrum, the words highlight the gap that still remains for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in having recognition of their right to participate on an equal basis in economic and social terms. Now is the time to heal Country. Now is the time for all Indigenous communities to have the recognition they deserve – for generations past, present and future. I am a proud Ally and Advocate for this recognition.

Vegan Labneh with Lemon Myrtle

Labneh is a thick and soft cheese traditionally made by adding salt, olive oil and lemon juice to yoghurt. Adding lemon myrtle to the vegan labneh elevated the citrus flavour to divine deliciousness.

Start the labneh at least one day ahead. The yoghurt will be thicker and creamier the longer it rests in the fridge. Make a double or triple batch as this recipe is possibly one of my most-enjoyed recent meals. Also, yoghurts will vary in thickness, which means the amount of liquid drained during the resting process will differ. 

Melbourne Bushfood have a good range of products, including the lemon myrtle used in this recipe. They also have strong policies on purchasing from majority owned First Nation businesses.

Vegan Labneh with Lemon Myrtle & Beets

Lemon myrtle is a strong, citrus herb traditionally used by Aboriginal people in food. It pairs beautifully with yoghurt to create this vegan labneh topped with roasted pomegranate beets.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Resting Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 55 mins
Cuisine Australian
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Tea Towel or Muslin
  • Colander
  • 2 x Mixing Bowls
  • Baking Dish
  • Whisk
  • Roasting pan

Ingredients
  

Vegan Labneh with Lemon Myrtle

  • 500 gm Plain dairy-free yohurt I used Cocobella Natural Yoghurt from Woolworths
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 tsp Lemon Myrtle
  • ½ Lemon (juiced)

Roasted Beets

  • tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 125 ml Lemon Juice
  • 150 ml Olive Oil
  • 1 kg Beetroot and/ or Heirloom Carrots
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • Mint Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions
 

Vegan Labneh with Lemon Myrtle

  • Line the colander with the tea towel or muslin. Place over the bowl.
  • Mix the 500gm dairy-free yoghurt, ½ tsp of sea salt and 2 tsp of lemon myrtle in a bowl.
  • Pour the yoghurt mixture into the lined colander and twist the cloth closed. Give the cloth a gentle squeeze to remove some of the water but stop if yoghurt comes through the fabric.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge for 24 hours and allow to rest. Ensure there is enough space between the bottom of the bowl and base of colander for liquid to drain.
  • When preparing to serve, remove the labneh from the cloth and stir to make it evenly creamy.

Roasted Beets

  • Pre-heat oven to 200° Celcius.
  • Make the dressing by whisking together 2½ tbs pomegranate molasses, half of the lemon juice (approx 60ml), 150ml oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Wash beetroots and trim stalks, leaving around 3cm of stem attached. Cut into quarters. If using, wash heirloom carrots, trim stalks and place in remaining dressing.
  • Toss beetroots with ⅓ of the pomegranate dressing, place on roasting pan, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Do not pour the reserved dressing onto the beetroot as it will burn in the pan. Reserve for use with heirloom carrots, if using. After 20 minutes remove alfoil, add carrots and roast for a further 20 – 25 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside to cool while plating.
  • While vegetables are roasting remove the seeds from the pomegranate.
  • Generously smear labneh on plates and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp of lemon myrtle. Top with the roasted beets and vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and remaining dressing. Add mint and pomegranate to serve.

Notes

The Modern Vegan Guide is your companion for how-to-vegan your food, home and lifestyle.
Keyword Easy, Indigenous, Vegetable
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