So the kids have gone back to school, and you’re already running out of ideas for what to pack in their lunchbox… Full of goodness, this colourful little salad is practical for packed lunches and is quick and easy too – whip it up in 10 minutes! Kids like stacking up layers and can help make the couscous – leave dicing up the veg until they’re old enough to handle a sharp knife.
Makes 2 big jars
4 tbsp couscous
½ red pepper
½ yellow pepper
½ green pepper
1 lemon cut into wedges
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
White wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
A few flat-leaf parsley or coriander leaves, or a mix of both
½ pack of ricotta or drained feta, or a few handfuls of leftover shredded roast chicken
1. Boil the kettle. Get the kids to measure the couscous into a little bowl, pour over the boiling water just to cover and set aside. Finely dice all the peppers, peel, core and cube the avocado.
2. Take a tall tumbler (or a jam jar with a lid if you want it to be portable) and help the kids assemble the salad. Start with the dressing (so that when you turn the jar upside down onto a plate, the dressing drizzles through the ingredients and winds up at the top). Pour the extra-virgin olive oil into the bottom of the jar, use the cap on your white wine vinegar bottle to measure out a capful and pop in too. Squeeze over the juice from one wedge of lemon and reserve the rest for later. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Now layer up your chopped-up ingredients. Start with half the red pepper followed by half the yellow pepper. Fluff the couscous up with a fork (all the water will have been absorbed by now) and spoon half into your jar. Add half the avocado, herbs and green pepper.
4. Top with half the cheese or chicken (whichever you are using) and pop another lemon wedge in the jar or tumbler at the top.
5. Now repeat with a second tumbler or jar using all the remaining ingredients.
6. When you and the kids are ready to eat, squeeze over the second wedge of lemon. Put a plate on top of the tumbler or opened jam jar and flip over. Carefully pull up the glass so that all the salad tumbles out, coated in the dressing and ready mixed.
Photography courtesy of Emily Kerrigan.