Serves 4

This is a lovely light summer starter. Use the freshest herbs to really bring out the complexity and citrusy taste sensations. This is one of my typical recipes that also goes to show that you can use an ingredient like tinned tuna and elevate it to quite a posh ingredient, surprising everyone at the table. It’s something I always pack for picnics, serving it out in big heaps for my gang to devour. For those mums trying to get their kids to eat healthier, this is a really clever  way of introducing fish to younger children.

  • 2 tins of tuna ( use the highest quality tuna you can find and I always use tuna in sunflower oil that helps to hold the flavour beautifully)
  • 1 cup of cous cous
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 tbs of red onion, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1 large bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of sumac
  • Grated rind of half a lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt for seasoning

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  • I have a very specific steaming method for preparing couscous. It really guarantees fluffy soft couscous and it really is a stress free process.
  • First wash your couscous in some warm water and drain thoroughly. Place 2 cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Place your couscous in a colander and place gently into the pan of boiling water, cover and bring the heat down low to a simmer. Let the couscous steam for about 6-7 minutes.
  • Next, separate the tuna into small flakes, breaking up the big chunks. Add in the red onion and the spring onion, half the dill and half the parsley. Add all the lemon juice. You want a light flaky mixture with no big chunks of tuna
  • Remove the cous from the steamer and fluff up with a fork. It should be soft and puffed. Place in a bowl and to this, add the paprika, the remaining dill and parsley, the sumac, lemon rind and the salt and black pepper.
  • Now start to assemble your timbales. Lightly brush some olive oil into some small ramekins. Start with a layer of tuna pressing down lightly. This should fill up to half the ramekin. Next add the couscous layer. Pressing down again so it is tight and compact.
  • Place your chosen serving plate inverted over the top of the ramekin and turn the timbale out onto the plate.
  • Decorate with fresh rucola and extra lemon wedges. Summer on a plate, delish!

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