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Israeli fried cauliflower with a homemade cheese

Chef Bo Byrne shares his recipe for Israeli fried cauliflower and Labneh Cheese

PORTLAND, Maine — Bo Byrne has worked in some of Maine's best kitchens and is now the owner of T.O.P. Dog.  He is also a teacher at Southern Maine Community College's Culinary school.  He stopped by the 207 kitchen to share his recipe for Israeli Fried Cauliflower with Labneh Cheese.

What you will need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower broken into florets with a small paring knife
  • 3 cups of vegetable oil
  • Medium Large Stock Pot
  • Candy Thermometer
  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. mint
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cheese cloth. 
  • Container to drain 
  • wooden spoon


Labneh Cheese

  • Take yogurt, place into cheesecloth, and tie into a bundle that can hang from a spoon resting on a container to drip
  • In 36 hours the liquid will be drained from the yogurt leaving a cream cheese consistency in the cheesecloth, perfect for Labneh
  • add honey, white balsamic vinegar, and mint 
  • stir
  • Set aside for plating.

Fried Cauliflower 

  • Add vegetable oil to stock pot
  • Heat on medium until candy thermometer reaches 350F
  • Cauliflower can be cut into florets by first removing the root/core from the bottom and then slicing between the natural stems.
    Pieces cut too small may burn quickly.
  • Drop florets of cauliflower into the heated oil
  • Scoop out with a strainer onto a paper towel-lined plate
  • season with salt and pepper.

To Plate: 

  • Smear Labneh cheese onto the center of the plate and add cauliflower directly on top. 
  • Garnish with microgreens and radishes
  • Crispy shallots add a nice crunch if you have them