Everyone loves this salad. It bursts with colour and flavour. You can eat it with a slice of buttered Irish soda bread for a satisfying lunch or make it part of supper with a range of roasted vegetables, meats and cheeses. It couldn’t be easier to make and it will graciously accommodate any fresh leafy herbs that you happen to have around. Here I used parsley as I had a bunch that needed using up, but I have also made it with a mix of mint, thyme, tarragon and dill. Exact quantities are not important here. The salad will keep for several days, covered, in the fridge.
Tip of the day: make the salad in advance and give it a few hours in the fridge for the flavours to blend, but if you do, hold back the peas until the last minute so that you keep their bright green colour.
Serves 4 as a side dish
100g giant couscous
A large mugful of mixed frozen peas and frozen broad beans
1 lemon, ideally unwaxed
3 spring onions trimmed and finely chopped
Generous handful of parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Squeeze of garlic paste
Boil the couscous until it is soft – about 6 minutes. Drain it, put it into a bowl and let it cool a little. Put the frozen peas and beans into a heatproof dish. Boil the kettle and pour the boiling water over the peas and beans so that they thaw. Leave them for about 3 minutes then drain and add to the couscous. Use a peeler to scrape the lemon zest into little shards. Squeeze the juice from the lemon. Add the zest and the juice to the couscous then the finely chopped spring onions and finely chopped herbs. Pour the olive oil into a cup and add the salt, pepper and garlic paste. Beat it until you can’t see any grains of salt then pour over the salad. Gently mix the salad.