James Street South Cookery School: Couscous and tabbouleh, great for barbecues

Niall McKenna's cous cous with peas, mint and feta
Niall McKenna

WE LOVE a barbecue. There’s no denying it. Whether over a disposable tray, a fancy grill in the garden or a massive fire pit like we have at our Cast & Crew restaurant in Belfast's Titanic Quarter, there is something about the charring of meat – or veg – that we can’t resist, even if we have to do it under an umbrella!

At the Cookery School, some of our most popular classes are how to carry off the perfect barbecue; we give tips on marinades, heat, coal, cooking time – everything. We also like to showcase some of our favourite dishes to serve, to truly create an unforgettable feast for your family and friends.

Both of this week’s recipes are great for the table when surrounded by burgers, steaks, sausages, chicken, whole fish and the rest, or are even great on their own for a light summer lunch.


225g cous cous

4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

225g peas

4 plum tomatoes, deseeded

4 tbsp fresh mint

400g feta crumbled


Place the cous cous in a large bowl, stir in 300ml of boiling water and leave until all the water has been absorbed. Leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes or until the grains have plumped up. Once plump, stir in 1tblsp of the olive oil and rub through with your fingers to break up any lumps.

Cook the peas in boiling salted water for four to five minutes until tender; refresh under cold running water and strain. Stir in with the cous cous. Deseed and finely dice the tomatoes and add to the cous cous. Finely chop the mint and stir in. Season with salt and pepper; add in the remaining olive oil when ready to serve, crumbling the feta over the top to finish.


80g bulgar wheat

60ml lemon juice

2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

½ cucumber, peeled, cored/deseeded and finely chopped

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, de-stalked and finely chopped

1kg vine tomatoes, cleaned and chopped

sea salt

black pepper

2 tblsp red wine vinegar


Place the bulgar wheat in a clean bowl and add the lemon juice and one tablespoon of hot water. Mix and set aside for 10 minutes. Next, add the oil, chopped cucumber, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well.

Clean and chop the tomatoes and place on a serving platter; cover with the bulgar wheat salad, dress with the vinegar and season to taste.

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