Hot Charred Cherry Tomatoes with Cold Yogurt

Hot Charred Cherry Tomatoes with Cold Yogurt

Hot Charred Cherry Tomatoes with Cold Yogurt

The key words here are in the name: hot and cold. The beauty of this dish lies in the exciting contrast between hot, juicy tomatoes and fridge-cold yogurt, so make sure the tomatoes are straight out of the oven and the yogurt is straight out of the fridge. The heat of the tomatoes will make the cold yogurt melt invitingly, so make sure you have plenty of crusty sourdough or focaccia, to mop it all up. Serves four as a starter or mezze. Adapted from Ottolenghi's Simple.

  • 1 standard carton cherry tomatoes (about 1.5 cups, 350g)
  • 3 Tbsp EVOO (we use House Blend or Olio Santo EVOO here)
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp light brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced (optional: to make low FODMAP or less garlicky, sub the classic EVOO for Garlic EVOO above, and omit garlic cloves)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • About 10-12 sprigs fresh oregano, 3 sprigs left whole, the rest picked and roughly chopped, to serve
  • 1 lemon – zest of one half grated, and shave off in 3-4 wide strips from the other half, for serving (optional if no lemon: sub 1 Tbsp Lisbon Lemon oil for grated lemon and skip the strips)
  • Maldon sea salt flakes and black pepper
  • 1 cup fridge-cold extra-thick Greek-style yoghurt (350g)
  • 1 tsp urfa chili flakes (or ½ tsp regular/your favorite chili flakes)

Heat the oven to 200C/425F/gas mark 7 (we love using a large toaster oven for this in the summer so it doesn't heat up the house as much). Put the tomatoes in a baking dish that’s just large enough to accommodate them all snugly. 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 broil/grill setting for 6-8 minutes, until the tomatoes start to blacken on top.

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

Once the tomatoes are ready, spread out the chilled yogurt on a platter (with a lip) 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 chili. Serve immediately with some good crusty bread.


  • Sub our Harissa spice blend for the chili sprinkled on top for a different spin on the flavor.


Leave a comment

* Required fields

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.