I first tried labneh in a tiny Middle Eastern restaurant. It was slathered on warm flatbread with olives and a magical lemony flavored spice. When I asked the waiter the name of the spice, he said “Zatar”, which sounded so exotic that I couldn’t imagine that one day I would be using it at home. That was years ago, and both labneh and zatar are now staples in my kitchen. Labneh is essentially yogurt cheese, or strained yogurt. It is high in protein, and that makes it a natural for use in diabetic breakfast recipes, in place of eggs or the usual Greek yogurt. You can buy labneh in Middle Eastern grocery stores, but it’s also fun to make it at home (depending on your idea of fun). As for the zatar, it turns out that it really is slightly exotic, with ingredients like thyme, oregano, sesame seeds and sumac. Once you have everything in place, this dish pulls together quickly. Char the tomatoes and the bread and arrange it on a plate with some greens. The rest is pure pleasure: spread the labneh and tomato on the pita. Sprinkle on some zatar and take a bite. Feel the warmth.

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