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October 26, 2020

Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes – my way!

Posted on July 1, 2019 by in vegetables, vegetarian

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Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes

If you have not tried Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes, then I suggest you do so urgently.

Seriously, Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes may seem like  the perfect dish for vegetarians, but my family loves it as much and trust me, they love their meat.

Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes

It is just the simplicity of this man’s cooking , that makes him so popular and amazing. I mean this dish is tomatoes, yogurt, olive oil and garlic, a little spice and ….. an explosion in your mouth. I think, honestly it is the texture contrasts, the cold, the heat, the sweet, the sour…. just perfect. Of course, I added my own little twist, but it made this dish even better. Add added deep-fried chickpeas for extra crunch.

Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes

This is just one of the delicious recipes in his book “Ottolenghi Simple”. His usual collection of unusual, imaginative dishes, beautifully presented. Other than the vegetarian recipes that most people associate Yotam with, this book also includes meat options. I have so many others I want to try, like this Burrata with grilled Grapes, I mean, how does he even think about these recipes. Here then MY version of this delicious dish.

Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes


For the chickpeas

1 x 400 g canned chickpeas

30 ml cornflour

vegetable oil for frying

For the tomatoes

400 g tomatoes – on the vine is beautiful, but not essential
45 ml olive oil
4 ml cumin seeds
5 ml brown sugar
3-4 cloves garlic – peeled and finely sliced
4 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs oregano
zest of 1 big lemon
300 ml Fairview Full Cream Yogurt
5 ml smoked chili flakes
3 ml salt


Make the chickpeas first. Decant the tin of chickpeas into a sieve. Rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water. Add the cornflour to the chickpeas and give it a good shake to coat all the chickpeas with cornflour. Heat the oil in a small pot and fry the chickpeas until crispy and golden brown. This takes about 15-20 min. Drain on kitchen toweling. Season with a little salt and keep until needed.

Heat the oven to 200 C.

Place the tomatoes in a oven-proof baking dish that is just big enough for the tomatoes to all fit in snugly. Add the oil, cumin, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, lemon strips, a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Give it a good toss together with your hands.

Roast the tomatoes for 20 – 25 minutes, until the tomatoes start to blister and the juices and oil are bubbling, turn the oven to the grill setting and grill for 6 – 7 minutes, until the tomatoes start to
show black char marks.

While you wait for the tomatoes to roast, mix the yogurt with the grated lemon zest and 3 ml salt and keep refrigerated until needed.

Once the tomatoes are ready, scoop the cold yogurt on a large serving and 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. Lastly scatter the fried chickpeas over the top and serve immediately with some warm flat breads or sourdough.

Ottolenghi’s Charred Cherry Tomatoes

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