It's the time of year to break out the barbecue – every weekend if the weather is good. I love to cook over wood or charcoal; it really does offer a very different flavour from gas cooking. Skewers are fun and really tasty; you can make up your own marinade and, generally, use cheaper cuts of meat and poultry. Serve these with rice, or make some hummus and enjoy them with grilled flatbread. All you really need to accompany them is a bowl of dressed ripe tomatoes*.
1kg lamb shoulder, cut into 2cm chunks
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
10 wooden skewers soaked in water overnight
For the cucumber yoghurt
1 Lebanese cucumber
250g Greek-style natural yoghurt
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
½ tsp finely chopped garlic
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground white pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
1. Put the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, spices and seasoning in a large bowl. Whisk all ingredients to combine. Add the meat and coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
2. Preheat a barbecue or grill pan on medium-high.
3. Drain the meat from the marinade. Thread the pieces comfortably onto skewers. Place the skewers on the barbecue and cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn and cook for another 2-3 minutes, the lamb should be brown on the outside but still pink in the middle. Remove from heat, cover with foil and rest somewhere warm.
4. For the cucumber yoghurt, cut the cucumber in half, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard. Thickly grate the flesh into a fine strainer, then press to extract excess liquid. Discard the liquid and place pulp in a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Check seasoning.
5. Divide the skewers among 4 plates and serve with cucumber yoghurt on the side.
*Tip: Cherry tomatoes usually offer the best flavour at this time of year.