French onion labneh

The tang from the labneh with the earthy, salty flavor of the onions, and the sweet cut of that pomegranate molasses truly makes one of the best dips I’ve had. This is like that Helluva Good French onion dip but fancy, homemade and so much better.

Top tips from me:
1) You can head to any of the Whole Foods to get the ingredients you need, though I couldn’t find the nigella seeds at mine. Otherwise, you can check out one of the several Arab grocers in the DMV, like 
the Mediterranean Way Gourmet Market or Shemali’s Market. 
2) Try to grab the Karoum brand labneh, or ones that come in a tub like sour cream, since according to Marcelle, they aren’t as thick as the Turkish style ones that are in what look like cream cheese containers.
3) If you can’t find chives, one can use scallions, just a little less in proportion.
4) A note from Chef Marcelle on optional ingredients: “The sumac, pomegranate molasses, nigella seeds, one may not have in their regular pantry, but they are great to have and cross utilize in other recipes if you choose to get them for this recipe. Sumac is a great spice that we use for acidity, that can enhance any salad or be used in any rub. Pomegranate molasses can be substituted for balsamic, and brings an awesome tangy touch in marinades and dressings. Nigella seeds bring a great oniony crunch as a finisher on any dip, and I actually love adding the seed in baked goods too!”
5) When cooking the garlic and onions, keep a close eye on them and stir frequently! You may need a few extra minutes to really caramelize those onions if your stove is as old as mine. I’d say it took me an extra 5 minutes or so to get them properly browned.
6) I didn’t try the dip without Marcelle’s suggested toppings, but I do think the pomegranate molasses is definitely a must-add. So good!
7) When serving, swirl a donut-shaped divot in the dip and then add your extra onions and molasses in there.
8) Serve with fresh warm pita, pita chips, vegetable crudite, potato chips, or as a smear on your bagel, whatever you want, but as Marcelle says, we enjoy it as a part of every meal!

Time:
This took me max 45 minutes start to finish, accounting for the 30 minutes of refrigeration. This could easily serve like 10 people paired with dipping vessels.

Ingredients
1lb Labneh — 2 Tbsp Chives, chopped — ½ tsp Onion Powder — ½ tsp Garlic Powder — 1 medium Sweet or Spanish Onion, small diced — 2 cloves Garlic, minced — 1 tsp Sumac (optional) — ¼ tsp Allspice, ground (optional) — Kosher Salt — Olive Oil — Toppings: pomegranate molasses, nigella seeds, cooked onions and garlic, chopped chives or scallions

Instructions:

1. In a medium pan, over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the diced onions, cook on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they start to lightly brown, add a pinch of salt.

2. Lower heat, add minced garlic, add ½ tsp more olive oil.

3. Add the sumac and allspice, and another pinch of salt. Cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until they appear lightly brown and caramelized.

4. Set in a container (no lid) and allow to cool completely.

5. Place the labneh in a medium bowl, whisk until it starts to loosen, the more you whisk labneh, the silkier it becomes. This will take about 2 minutes.

6. Fold the chives, onion powder, and garlic powder into the labneh.

7. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the cooked onion and garlic mixture to use as topping. Place the remainder and fold into the labneh, with all of the residual bits and oil.

8. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. 

9. When serving, we like to top it with a swirl of pomegranate molasses, ½ tsp of nigella seeds, the caramelized onions & garlic, and chopped scallions or chives. You can use all or any combination of these items!

10. Serve with fresh warm pita, pita chips, vegetable crudite, potato chips, or as a smear on your bagel — we enjoy it as a part of every meal!

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