by Betsy Carnie
- 1 quart plain yogurt (whatever fat content you prefer)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. finely minced shallot (optional)
- 1 cup chopped toasted nuts like pecans (optional)
- 1 strainer with a bowl
- 1 4-ply cheesecloth
Gently mix the yogurt, salt, pepper, and shallots if desired, until just combined. Line a strainer with 4-ply cheesecloth and set over a bowl, to catch the whey. Pour yogurt mixture onto cheesecloth. Now place the bowl-with-strainer in the refrigerator. This very versatile yogurt cheese will be ready in about 24 hours.
To make yogurt balls:
Remove cheese from cheesecloth after the 24 hours in the refrigerator and cut into 1 1⁄2 inch cubes. With clean hands, roll each piece into a ball and refrigerate until you are ready serve. Remove from fridge, roll yogurt cheese balls in chopped toasted pecans if that’s your choice, and serve atop arugula and mint salad. Dress the salad with a light vinaigrette such as lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.