~ Excerpted from Top with Cinnamon

This dish is the perfect way to say goodbye to the tomatoes of the summertime. You roast and grill them so they blacken, becoming boiling hot, charred tomatoes which are poured over a bed of cold yoghurt. It sounds simple and it is, but it’s one of those dishes that once you make it you’ll probably end up making it again and again to have as a starter or part of a mezze for dinner as we did here.


  • 350 g (12.5 oz) cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp light brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 lemon – , zest of one half shaved off in 3 wide strips, the other half grated
  • salt and black pepper
  • 250 g (9 oz) fridge-cold extra-thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp urfa chilli flakes, or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
    Put the tomatoes in a rimmed baking dish that’s just large enough to accommodate them all snugly. Add the oil, cumin, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, lemon strips, a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Toss together with your hands.
  2. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to blister and the liquid is bubbling, then turn the oven to the grill setting and grill for 5 to 7 minutes, until the tomatoes start to blacken on top.
  3. While the tomatoes are roasting, mix the yoghurt with the grated lemon zest and 1/4 tsp salt, then return to the fridge.
  4. Once the tomatoes are ready, spread out the cold yoghurt on a large plate or shallow, wide bowl. Spoon the hot tomatoes on top, as well as the pan juices, lemon peel, garlic and herbs, and finish with the remaining oregano and chilli. Serve at once with some flatbreads or sourdough.