Sophie Grigson's avocado and labne salad

Sophie Grigson's avocado and labne salad

Serves: 3-4


250g Greek yoghurt

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, lightly toasted

1 large bunch watercress (around 110g)

1 avocado

Juice 1/2 lemon

For the dressing:

125g blueberries

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 cm root ginger, chopped

Juice 1 lemon

Salt and pepper


First things first – some 5-6 hours before you want to settle down to your salad, line a sieve with a big square of muslin and spoon all the yoghurt into it. Gather up the ends and tie in a knot then hang from the tap, over the sink, or suspend above a bowl if you can do that more conveniently (we use a broomhandle, two chairs and some string – easier than it sounds). Leave to drip, drip, drip for 4-6 hours until the cheese is firm enough to mould.   Now scoop out teaspoonfuls and roll into balls. Cover loosely and set aside until needed.

To make the dressing, which can also be done several hours in advance, simply put the blueberries into a small pan with the sugar, ginger, half the lemon juice, sugar, 1 tablespoon water, plenty of pepper and a few pinches of salt. Bring up to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, then rub through a strainer. Whisk the remaining lemon juice into the dressing, then taste and adjust seasoning.

Not long before serving, halve the avocado, remove the stone, then peel and slice, turning the slices in lemon juice to delay browning. Tumble watercress and avocado onto individual plates (or one shallow serving dish), dot with labneh balls and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Drizzle dressing over the mixture (you probably won’t need all of it) and serve at once.

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