What I love about this recipe is how easily it turns Sunday lunch into Monday's lunchbox. If you have some leftover gravy, heat it up and add it to the liquid or stock you use to cook the couscous. I've added carrots and peas, but you can be pretty inventive with what you throw in – if it tasted good with your roast dinner, it'll taste good in your couscous too. I season this with a dollop of mint sauce or jelly, and stir in some perky herbs too, to add freshness.
Serves: 2 as a main course; 4 as a light lunch
150g couscous or barley couscous
300ml hot water or stock and/or gravy (or the volume specified on the couscous packet)
1–2 tbsp olive oil, plus a splash for the dressing
1–2 tsbp mint sauce or jelly
Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
100g roast lamb, diced
100g cooked peas
100g cooked carrots, diced
Small handful of mint, parsley and/or coriander leaves, roughly chopped or torn, plus extra leaves to finish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
● To prepare the couscous, put it into a bowl, add the hot water or stock and olive oil, then cover and leave to soak for a short time, according to the packet instructions.
● When the couscous is swollen and tender, add the mint sauce or jelly, lemon zest and juice, and sprinkle on the ground spices. Fork the couscous gently to fluff it up and combine it with the seasonings.
● Add the lamb, vegetables and herbs and toss gently to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, a little more lemon if you like, and a splash of olive oil.
● Serve in bowls, scattered with extra herb leaves.
Tips and swaps
● Fruity couscous and lamb - add a small handful of dried fruits such as raisins, barberries or chopped unsulphured apricots. First soak the fruit in hot water or tea for about 10 minutes to plump it up a bit, then drain before stirring it into the minted quinoa and lamb - use quinoa in place of the couscous.
● Swap the meat - this dish gives a good second life to roast meats other than lamb – try it with chicken or beef.