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Hot, charred cherry tomatoes with cold yogurt

One of the most loved dishes from Chef Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook, Simple, this hot, charred cherry tomato with cold yogurt is a tasty and easy way to elevate a homemade dish. Not to mention it's the dish featured on the front of his cookbook!



  • 12 ¼ oz/350 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon 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 ¾ cups/350 grams extra-thick Greek-style yogurt, fridge-cold
  • 1 teaspoon Urfa chile flakes (or ½ teaspoon other crushed red pepper flakes)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, cumin, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, lemon strips, half teaspoon of flaked salt, and a good grind of pepper. Mix to combine, then transfer to a baking sheet just large enough – about six-by-eight inches/15 by 20 centimetres – to fit all the tomatoes together snugly.
  3. Place the sheet about two inches/five centimetres beneath the broiler and roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to blister and the liquid is bubbling. Turn the oven to the broil setting and broil for six to eight minutes, until the tomatoes start to blacken on top.
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting, combine the yogurt with the grated lemon zest and quarter teaspoon of flaked salt. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
  5. Once 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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