Recipe | Mixed heirloom tomato & labne salad

Recipe and words extracted from The Laden Table: Recipes to share, infused with spice by Ashia Ismail-Singer

Labne is a thick, creamy yoghurt from which the whey has been drained. It’s a Middle Eastern staple and can be used in salads, or as a dip, drizzled with olive oil and dukkah. You need to make the labne and dressing ahead of time, the day before would be preferable.

Serves 4 – 6


For the labne 

1 tsp sea salt flakes 

500g Greek-style yoghurt

for the dressing 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 

1 ½ tbsp lemon juice 

1 clove garlic, quartered 

pinch of chilli flakes (optional) 

salt and pepper

For the salad 

2 tbsp chopped pistachios 

2 tsp pumpkin seeds 

2 tsp sesame seeds 

2 tsp ground cumin 

1 tsp sea salt flakes 

1kg mixed heirloom tomatoes 

½ cup red or green olives, sliced 

small red onion, sliced into rounds 

3 cups watercress 

1 cup fresh coriander leaves 

crusty bread, to serve


For the labne

Stir the salt through the Greek yoghurt. Arrange a muslin cloth over a deep bowl. Place the yoghurt on the cloth. Take a wooden spoon and rest it across the top of the bowl. Tie the ends of the cloth to the wooden spoon — the weight of the mixture will help drain the liquid. Refrigerate for 24 hours, gently squeezing to encourage the liquid to drain. Roll into a log or shape into balls.

For the dressing

Add all the ingredients into a screw-top jar and shake to combine. Place in the fridge for 24 hours. Discard the garlic before use.

For the salad

In a dry frying pan, toast the pistachios, seeds, spices and salt until fragrant. Remove and set aside to cool.

Halve the smaller tomatoes and thickly slice the larger ones; arrange on a large platter.

In a bowl, combine the olives, red onion, watercress and coriander. Pour over half the dressing and gently toss to combine.

Scatter the watercress mixture over the tomatoes and top with the labne (either balls or cut into slices if you rolled it). Sprinkle with toasted pistachios, seeds and spices and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.

Serve with crusty bread.

Heirloom tomatoes.

Recipe and words extracted from The Laden Table: Recipes to share, infused with spice by Ashia Ismail-Singer

Photography by Lottie Hedley, published by Bateman Books.

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