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Homemade Shankleesh

Homemade Shankleesh

Greg and Lucy Malouf
This is the Maloufs’ homemade homage to shankleesh, a spicy, aged Middle Eastern cheese, and it works well if you can’t find the real thing. Coatings vary—from aniseed to bright red Aleppo pepper—but they are usually punchy.


  • 3 ½ ounces French-style fresh goat’s milk cheese roughly chopped
  • 3 ½ ounces feta crumbled
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • 1 teaspoon Turkish red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano


  • In a medium-size bowl, combine cheeses. Add the yogurt, sumac, za’atar, chili flakes, and white pepper and combine well. Cover and chill 12 hours or until firm.
  • Transfer the mixture onto a work surface and divide into 4 even portions. With lightly oiled hands, roll each portion into a rough ball.
  • Pour the oregano into a small, shallow bowl or dish. Roll each cheese ball in the oregano to coat lightly. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Photo Credit: Image of cheese balls courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Greg and Lucy Malouf

Born in Australia to Lebanese immigrants, Greg Malouf—co-author of the modern Middle Eastern cookbook New Feast with pastner Lucy Malouf—offers a modern view of Middle Eastern cooking at his Michelin star UK restaurant and at Clé Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Katherine Hysmith

Katherine was a social media intern for culture and a fan of all things Southern. Born and raised in Texas, Katherine recently moved up north to pursue a graduate degree in the Gastronomy Program at Boston University. When she's not researching for her Master's thesis or dreaming about jalapeno cheese poppers, Katherine writes on her own blog The Young Austinian ( http://www.youngaustinian.com/ ).