Hot charred cherry tomatoes with cold yoghurt

Source: 'Simple' - Yotam Ottolenghi 

Servings: 3
  • 500 g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp light brown sugar
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 8 g fresh oregano, 4 sprigs left whole, the rest picked and roughly chopped, to serve
  • 2 lemons – zest of one shaved off in wide strips, the other one grated
  • Flaked sea salt and black pepper
  • 350 g fridge-cold extra-thick Greek-style yoghurt (at least 5%)
  • 1 tsp urfa chilli flakes (or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes)
  1. Heat the oven to 200C.


  2. Put the tomatoes in a baking dish that’s just large enough to accommodate them all in one layer. Add the oil, cumin, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, lemon strips, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to blister and the liquid is bubbling, then turn the oven to the grill setting and grill for six to eight minutes, until the tomatoes start to blacken on top. Or use a blowtorch like I sometimes do. Because how often do you get the chance to use a blowtorch? If you don't own one go and buy one because according to Julia Child every woman should have a blowtorch.


  3. While the tomatoes are roasting, mix the yoghurt with the grated lemon zest and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, then return to the fridge.


  4. Once the tomatoes are ready, spread out the chilled yoghurt on a platter or wide shallow bowl, and make a few dips in it here and there with the back of a spoon. Spoon the hot tomatoes on top, as well as the pan juices, lemon peel, garlic and herbs, and finish with the remaining oregano and chilli. Serve at once with some good crusty bread.