Chicken with harissa and tomatoes

Serves: 4

We are backwards when it comes to cooking effort throughout the week.

My understanding is that Monday is that day when you should keep it super simple; first day back at work and last thing you want to do it spend two hours in the kitchen.

Whereas for us – well me at least – nothing could be better than spending time in the kitchen on a Monday night, free from the shackles of ‘the man’. Easy dishes are instead left for later in the week when you’re priorities are changing; it’s almost Thursday, you’re organising the weekend, the latest Batchelor has been uploaded to TenPlay for streaming.

No time to cook.

Which is where this sweet little number comes in.

I know it looks simple and it is. I know it looks a bit too simple, though it’s not.

Served with some steamed green beans and some baby potatoes, wow. Indeed, anything you served this with – from couscous to a green salad to polenta – would only make it more amazing; once the tomatoes break down and combine with the oregano and harissa, you have one tasty – and healthy – meal on your hands.

Whether you do it Monday or Wednesday, this is a tick.


4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp harissa
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
250g pack cherry tomatoes
Handful olives (kalamatas or similar)


  1. Heat the oven to 200c. Put the chicken in a medium roasting tray, then rub with harissa, oil and oregano.
  2. Cover with foil and roast for 5 minutes then remove the foil and add the cherry tomatoes and olives to the tray. Roast for 10 minutes or more until the tomato skins start to split and the chicken is cooked through.

Moroccan kofte with spicy tomato sauce


Serves: 4

Oh wow this is awesome.

Admittedly, I made them after a rather reasonable lunch remit with a few wines. Though the flavour definitely wasn’t the wines talking, though I have been known to find cornflour pretty tasty late into a big night.

Though who hasn’t?

Lamb mince. Tick. Spice. Tick. Tomato. Tick. Yogurt, harissa and pine nuts. Tick.

It’s easy to prepare, easy to cook and healthy. It’s no revelation and instead, it’s the comfort, warmth and familiarity of it all.

Go out and have a big lunch, stumble home, pour another glass and knock this up. You could do a whole lot worse.



500gm lamb mince
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp chopped mint


1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomato
2 tsp harissa
1 tsp sugar
200gm tub Greek yogurt
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Coriander, pittas and couscous to serve


  1. If using wooden skewers, soak for at least 20 minutes to stop burning. Heat the grill.
  2. Using your hands, mix the meat in a bowl with the onion, coriander, mint and plenty of seasoning. Shape into 8 sausages, about 10cm long and then threat a bamboo skewer through the center of each.
  3. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and briefly fry. Add tomatoes, harissa, sugar and seasoning. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  4. Grill the kofte for 6 – 8 minutes, turning until they are nice browned. Spoon the sauce over a warm platter, drizzle with yogurt and put the kofte on top. Scatter with the pine nuts and serve with coriander, pittas and couscous.
  5. And more wine.