Recipes channel real family values

Turkish couscous salad  (Picture: PA Photo/Penguin)
Turkish couscous salad (Picture: PA Photo/Penguin)

Mum-of-two Kerryann Dunlop knows better than most about cooking well, and on a tight budget.

One of Jamie Oliver’s original Fifteen apprentices, she has just written her first cookbook, thanks to her popularity on Jamie’s Food Tube, the cooking YouTube channel Oliver launched last year.

The Family Cook Book is chock full of delicious and simple recipes to make for and with kids, and Dunlop says her secret weapon is what she calls the “batch” cook – making loads of something to freeze, saving time later.

Here’s one of her recipes to try.


(Serves 8)

250g couscous

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp smoked paprika

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium red onion

1 medium cucumber

2 ripe tomatoes

1 fresh red chilli

1 bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked

1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked

1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley

1tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Zest and juice from 1/2 unwaxed lemon

Place the couscous, cumin, paprika and a big pinch of salt into a bowl. Stir to combine, then pour over just enough boiling water to cover the couscous. Cover the bowl and leave for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, cucumber, tomatoes and chilli (I leave the seeds in, but deseed if you prefer). Finely chop the mint and coriander leaves, and the parsley (including the stalks).

Mix the couscous up with a fork, then stir in the tomato puree until well coated (I do this with my hands – it’s messy, but quite therapeutic!). Add all the chopped vegetables, chilli and herbs and mix well. Stir in the oil and the lemon zest and juice, then season to how you like it. Serve as a side with grilled meat or fish . You can also eat it on its own if you want a light meal or snack.