In this week’s By Thistle By Thimble story, “Set in Stone”, Nani Sasso lives with his family on a small rocky island in the Mediterranean. One day, Nani has a falling out with his brother, and decides to leave his family. But the grudge he develops doesn't last just a short while, but goes on for many, many years. It is not until he is an old man that his granddaughter Modesta shows him what he has lost in the name of being set in stone.
As frequent “Sparkle Kitchen” readers will know, I'm a big proponent of sitting down to a meal as a way to bring people together and help solve differences. And what better kind of meal to have than a delicious Mediterranean cook-out.
While “Mediterranean cuisine” is actually quite diverse, there are some commonalities. Lighter—typically grilled—proteins, olive oil, pungent herbs, and beautiful citrus are all at home on a Mediterranean table, as are a favorite fruit of mine—grapes. These kebabs combine all of those foods into one delicious skewer—think of it as bringing the whole family of Mediterranean food together!
Easy to grill inside or out, the slightly charred grapes add sweetness, while the chicken is savory enough to be quite filling. We like these served over a bed of tabouleh, another Mediterranean treat.
Mediterranean Chicken and Grape Kebabs (makes about 8 kebabs)
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
1 sprig oregano
1 pound chicken breasts
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
About 2 cups green grapes
Mince the garlic. Strip the herbs from their stems, and mince them finely, as well. Chunk the chicken breasts into about 2 inch cubes, and put them in a container with a tightly sealing lid. Add the olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and the zest and juice of a lemon. Put on the lid and shake to combine. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least four hours.
When it's time to cook, get a grill (or indoor grill pan) warmed up to high heat. Prepare the kebabs by alternating chicken and grapes on bamboo skewers.
Grill the kebabs for about four minutes per side on each of the four sides, then cut into one of the larger chunks of chicken to test for doneness. The meat should be opaque and the juices should run clear, or—if you have a thermometer—the center of the meat should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the chicken is done, remove the kebabs from the heat, and serve them over tabouleh or another favorite grain salad.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.