Kristine Kidd

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Green Beans and Peppers with Lemon and Olives Chicken Cutlets with Chermoula

My friend Karen joined me for her first visit to the 4-month-old farmers’ market in Topanga Canyon on Friday. I introduced her to the growers, and encouraged her to select produce for the week by loading up my shopping cart with multihued bell peppers, shiny red lipstick peppers, broccoli rabe, shelled tender lima beans, tiny fingerling potatoes, huge Macarthur avocados, lemons and limes, dark purple cherry tomatoes, a salad mix loaded with baby herbs, and end of the summer peaches.

As we walked to our cars, Karen commented that I had bought a lot of vegetables for just two people. I did, and always do. I am so tempted by the just picked produce, I add more and more to my cart, as ideas for how to prepare my finds dance in my head, and our meals are more interesting, and healthier to boot.

Saturday night I concocted an easy to put together dinner, featuring some of the vegetables I had brought home. I cooked orange and yellow bell pepper spears until tender and sweet, and then tossed them with green beans. Paper thin slices of lemon and intense kalamata olives braised along with the vegetables turned this into a colorful celebration of Indian summer. I spent about half an hour creating a big pan full, so there was enough to enjoy that night, and on a second night too.

To accompany the vegetables, chicken cutlets sautéed until golden on the outside and juicy inside, and then drizzled with a zesty mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, paprika, cumin and coriander seeds, shallot and lemon. This is my twist on North African chermoula sauce, and I prepare it frequently because it easily transforms simply cooked poultry, fish, eggs, and potatoes into exotic dishes. The cutlets were ready in just 6 minutes and the sauce took about the same. Planning ahead, I made extra chicken, to have leftovers for another meal.

Nutty quinoa tied together the striking flavors of these two dishes. A large bowlful guaranteed surplus for a satisfying quinoa, chicken, and vegetable salad, bathed in chermoula two days later.

This meal helped us appreciate our current hot weather- a feast of late summer vegetables that were still available because of the heat, savored outside on a balmy evening, then served again in a slightly different guise.


Green Beans and Bell Peppers with Lemon and Olives

Kristine Kidd
I prepared the vegetable and the sauce for the chicken first, and let the vegetables rest in the hot, but uncovered, pan while I cooked the chicken.
Makes 2 servings with leftovers, or 4 servings
Course Sunday Suppers, Weeknight Dinners
Servings 2


  • 12 ounces green beans, preferably blue lake, ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced crosswise, seeds discarded
  • ¼ cup packed pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise


  • Add the beans to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until just crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Soak in cold water to stop cooking, and then drain well.
  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and peppers, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and then cover and cook until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix in the lemon, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in the greens beans and olives. Cook uncovered until the beans are heated through, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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Chicken Cutlets with Chermoula

Kristine Kidd
Quinoa is the perfect accompaniment to this spicy chicken; put it on to cook just before sautéing the chicken.
Makes 2 servings, plus leftovers
Course Sunday Suppers, Weeknight Dinners
Servings 2



  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or Italian Parsley
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 to 1¼ pounds chicken breast cutlets
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Rice flour


  • For the chermoula: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast until fragrant, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar or spice grinder, and grind coarsely. Transfer the seeds to a small bowl. Add the paprika and cayenne, and then mix in the oil, lemon juice, shallot, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • For the chicken: Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken in flour, and then add to the skillet. Sauté until brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the chicken to warmed plates. Spoon a little chermoula over and serve right away.


Organic chicken breast cutlets- I used Rosie organic chicken, because it is so tasty, it is worth the extra cost. I find it at Gelson’s markets; Whole Foods markets and Trader Joe's markets also sell organic chicken cutlets.
Quinoa- This quick cooking grain is available at Trader Joe’s markets, and I always keep a package in the cupboard.
Plan ahead, and you can enjoy a quick tabbouleh-like salad on another day. On the first night, prepare the complete vegetable recipe, 1 to 1¼ pounds of chicken, and 1½ cups of quinoa. Chill the leftovers. To make the second dinner, turn out the vegetable mixture on a cutting board, and chop everything into about ½-inch pieces. Cut the chicken into ½-inch pieces. Combine the leftover quinoa with the cut up vegetables and chicken, and the remaining chermoula sauce. I like to mound the salad on a bed of baby lettuce that has been tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.
The chermoula is also terrific with fish, eggs, and potatoes, so consider making a big batch, and keeping it in the refrigerator to spice up other meals.
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4 thoughts on “Green Beans and Peppers with Lemon and Olives Chicken Cutlets with Chermoula”

  1. Karen Dannenbaum

    Recipe sounds amazing, and I am honored to be mentioned in your blog! The peaches I bought at the Topanga Farmer’s Market were so flavorful, I was going to make a cobbler, but my kids liked them so much they ate them before I could!

  2. Just a wee bit jealous as I read your shopping expedition. Our markets are closed for the season and it is back to sun-dried tomatoes and taking roasted red peppers that I prepared in September out of the freezer. But the meal sings and I shall endeavor to create it – even if my produce has been shipped from Topanga.

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