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Found it! Labneh!

Ha! Victory has been had in the war on finding the Middle-Eastern products I adore… I have found my Labneh, right here in Sonoma even, at Sonoma Market. Much to my surprise, I found it at a most abundant location, as opposed to the less-than-luxurious environments I had imagined, trekking to Oakland or Berkley to a Middle Eastern specialty market and being pushed around by the regular customers as I have in the past. Those living in L.A. can relate if you’ve ever shopped at the fabulous Elat Market on Pico Blvd. (Best Bulgarian Feta, btw.)

But today in Sonoma is about both victory and convenience. Right on! So, what came next? Lunch.There must have been some good Mediterranean ju-ju in my chart, or just the law of attraction proving itself, but on this particularly hot Thursday in the North Bay, I stumbled upon Labneh at long last, on the very same day that I happened to have leftover Greek Salad (with arugula instead of lettuce) that would pair just beautifully with my treasure in a wrap. All I needed was a pack of multi-grain wrap skins and I was about to go into flavor oblivion. And indeed I did.

On top of the wrap skin, I smeared the labneh generously. Then I layered it with fresh whole basil from my garden, and topped it with last night’s Greek salad: arugula, Persian cucumber, grape tomatoes, feta, onions, and a dressing I make with garlic, ginger, white vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Then I drizzled on a little bit more olive oil and wrapped the whole thing up into a crispy, snappy, creamy, and spicy burrito-shaped torpedo. Ah, the flavors were a perfect marriage, and I couldn’t stop at one. And then, of course, the oil-and-dairy drip pool left on the plate is more fun to dip with bread than any pasta sauce I’ve come across. Months of yearning have finally paid off, and it was worth the frustration and its subsequent assuage. It’s funny how dairy can make a complete maniac out of a person. I mean, this is my second blog post about labneh, as if writing about cheese regularly isn’t a bit unusual enough. Maybe it s some sort of “mother’s milk” trigger, although I like to think I am well beyond any Freudian textbook behavior. Is it just me, or does anyone else obsess on certain dairy comforts?

Photo by Bon Appétit 

Lauren Berley

Living in New York and Los Angeles, Aspen and London, as well as rural agricultural communities, Lauren has tasted her way through life. Says Lauren: "I want to explore and unearth, both around the globe and at the local fish fry. And taste every cheese, wine and spice in every town, mountain, port, or city... food is a very intimate way of understanding our global brothers and sisters, our heritage, and the beautiful differences that make this a glorious planet."

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