“One of the beauties of this dish lies in the exciting contrast between the hot, juicy tomatoes and fridge-cold yoghurt, so make sure the tomatoes are straight out of the oven and the yoghurt is straight out of the fridge,” says chef and restaurateur, Yotam Ottolenghi.
“The heat of the tomatoes will make the cold yoghurt melt, invitingly, so plenty of crusty sourdough or focaccia to mop it all up with is a must alongside.”
Hot charred cherry tomatoes with cold yoghurt
- Mixing bowl
- Baking tray
- 350 g cherry tomatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves finely sliced
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 5 g fresh oregano (3 sprigs left whole and the rest picked, to serve)
- 1 lemon halved (finely shave the skin of one half to get 3 strips, and finely grate the other half to get 1tsp zest)
- 350 g extra thick Greek-style yoghurt (such as Total), fridge-cold
- 1 tsp Urfa chilli flakes (or 1/2tsp regular chilli flakes)
- Flaked sea salt
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
- Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, cumin seeds, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, lemon strips, half a teaspoon of flaked salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix to combine, then transfer to a baking tray just large enough to fit all the tomatoes together snugly. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to blister and the liquid is bubbling. Turn the oven to the grill setting and grill for six to eight minutes, until the tomatoes start to blacken on top.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, combine the yoghurt with the grated lemon zest and a quarter of a teaspoon of flaked salt. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Once the tomatoes are ready, spread the chilled yoghurt on a platter (with a lip) or in a wide, shallow bowl, creating a dip in it with the back of a spoon. Spoon over the hot tomatoes, along with their juices, lemon skin, garlic and herbs, and finish with the picked oregano and chilli flakes. Serve at once, with some bread.
Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth, photography by Jonathan Lovekin, is published by Ebury Press.
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