rosemary chicken kebabs with grilled cherry tomato salad

Lindsey Bareham

I always use chicken thigh fillets for kebabs. The meat is bouncier and less likely to dry out than breast meat. Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and thyme or rosemary is my favourite marinade to flavour, soften and lubricate the kebabs. I like hummus with them and this spectacular grilled cherry tomato salad that is cooked with garlic, black olives, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

serves 4, prep 30 min, cook 20 min

12 chicken thigh fillets
2 garlic cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon

for the salad
400g cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
70g pitted black olives
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp best olive oil
A handful of basil leaves

Unfurl the chicken, slice the pieces into strips then cut them into small kebab-size pieces. Crush 2 cloves of garlic and flake away the skin. Bruise the rosemary and place it in a mixing bowl with the garlic, bay leaves and 4 tablespoons of olive oil, then squeeze in half a lemon. Mix, then stir in the diced chicken. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer, while you get the barbecue to white-ash stage. Thread the chicken on to kebab sticks and cook for 2-3 min a side until crusty and just cooked through.

To make the salad, pierce each tomato with the sharp point of a knife (to avoid bursting) and place them in a pan that can fit under the grill. Add 2 cloves of garlic, sliced in thin rings, the olives, vinegar and olive oil. Mix. Season with salt and pepper and grill for about 8 min, shaking the pan for even cooking, until the tomatoes are weeping, but holding their shape. Allow to cool in the pan. Serve with torn basil.