Sometimes you find a word that perfectly suits what is happening in your life… this month I found ‘bestovers’ – similar to leftovers, but where the thing you make with the leftovers comes out better than the thing you originally made!

I made a couscous salad this month with chunks of kumara and orange to go with some home-smoked fish, and we had loads of it left over and apart from give it to the chickens (who would have loved it) I wasn’t very inspired about how to make it into another meal… but then I discovered a recipe for couscous cakes online which I played around with, and the cakes came out very well so I thought I would share the recipe.

Couscous cakes
  • 2 cups cooked couscous
  • ½ cup panko crumbs (or finely broken up cream crackers or Matzo crackers – something to add bulk without making the mixture too heavy)
  • 200g smoked fish (bite-sized pieces)
  • Small handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
  • handful panko crumbs
  • 2 tbsp fat or butter


  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Add the eggs last, adding just enough to bind the mixture together – you want it not to be sticky, but firm enough to hold together.
  2. Shape a small piece of mixture into a cake or patty, roll in panko crumbs and set aside. Use up all the mixture (I made about 10 from mine).
  3. Heat a heavy cast-iron fry pan and add the fat or butter. When it starts to sizzle, add the cakes and cook thoroughly on both sides until crunchy and brown.
  4. Serve immediately, perhaps with a green salad and some relish or chutney.