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Hot, charred cherry tomatoes with cold yogurt

Hot, charred cherry tomatoes with cold yogurt
Jonathan Lovekin / Ten Speed Press

It probably won't come as much of a surprise when I confess that, like a lot of food-minded folks, I own every single one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s six cookbooks. They’re on bookshelves, also underneath bowls of fruit, between jars of ... Read more

Total time: 30-35 minutes | Serves four as a starter or part of a mezze plate
Note: Adapted from a recipe in “Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi.
  • 12 ¼ oz (350 grams) cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoonsolive oil
  • ¾ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 6 oregano sprigs: 3 sprigs left whole and the rest stemmed, to serve
  • 1 lemon: finely shave the skin of ½ to get 3 strips, then finely grate the other ½ to get 1 teaspoon zest
  • Flaked sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 2∕3 cups (350 grams) extra-thick Greek-style yogurt, fridge-cold
  • 1 teaspoon Urfa chile flakes (or ½ tsp other crushed red pepper flakes)

Step 1Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Step 2In a mixing bowl combine the tomatoes with the olive oil, cumin, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, lemon strips, ½ teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix to combine, then transfer to a baking sheet just large enough — about 6 inches by 8 inches — to fit all the tomatoes together snugly. Place the sheet about 2 inches beneath the broiler and roast until the tomatoes are beginning to blister and the liquid is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Turn the oven to the broil setting and broil until the tomatoes start to blacken on top, 6 to 8 minutes.

Step 3While the tomatoes are roasting, combine the yogurt with the grated lemon zest and ¼ tsp of flaked salt. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Step 4Once the tomatoes are ready, spread the chilled yogurt on a platter with a lip or in a wide, shallow bowl, creating a dip in it with the back of a spoon. Spoon the hot tomatoes on top, along with their juices, lemon strips, garlic, and herbs, and finish with the oregano leaves and chile flakes. Serve at once.

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