Hot, Charred Cherry Tomatoes with Cold Yogurt
One of the beauties of this dish lies in the exciting contrast between the 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 plenty of crusty sourdough or focaccia to mop it all up is a must alongside. Serves four as a starter or part of a mezze plate
12 1/4 oz (350g) cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp 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 1/2 to get 3 strips, then finely grate the other 1/2 to get 1 tsp zest
flaked sea salt and black pepper
1 2∕3 cups (350g) extra-thick Greek-style yogurt, fridge-cold
1 tsp Urfa chile flakes (or 1/2 tsp other crushed red pepper flakes)
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, cumin, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, lemon strips, 1/2 tsp of flaked salt, and a good grind of pepper. Mix to combine, then transfer to a baking sheet just large enough—about 6 x 8 inches (15 x 20 cm)—to fit all the tomatoes together snugly. Place the sheet about 2 inches (5 cm) 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 6-8 minutes, until the tomatoes start to blacken on top.
3. While the tomatoes are roasting, combine the yogurt with the grated lemon zest and 1/4 tsp of flaked salt. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
4. 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.
Copyright © 2018 by Yotam Ottolenghi. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.