CAN YOU believe what a glorious summer we’ve been having in the UK?

It’s been hot, sunny, the skies have been clear, and I think most of us had forgotten what rain was.

In fact, during June and July, temperatures reached 30’C in Scotland, Lapland and even the Arctic Circle, which goes to show just how hot it really was.

Our sunniest summer on record here in the UK was 1976 (although only the third hottest).

Meanwhile, 2006 was the UK’s warmest summer since records began in 1910, and while 2018 is likely to end up in the top five warmest summers, it won’t be setting any records for being the sunniest, not now that our weather seems to have taken a turn.

We’re having cloudy days and even rain showers – although our lawns are definitely appreciative of this.

There has been a massive heat wave in Italy too. In fact, it has been so hot that – in addition to the water fountains dotted around – the authorities have been giving away bottles of water to tourists in Rome.

If keeping hydrated didn’t keep people cool, the fact that ice cream consumption went up 30 per cent probably went a long way to helping people battle the heat too.

When the weather is nice, Italians love to eat outside, and with Italian barbecue being a culinary tradition that has evolved over centuries, it is one of the best ways to dine al fresco with your family and friends.

Italian barbeques are not all about the meat – the vegetables are just as important, making an Italian barbeque an inclusive occasion.

Italians are known for their love of food, eating heavy dishes over multiple courses, but while you will always find plenty of food at an Italian barbeque, it will be a lot lighter than the pasta and pizza dishes you might expect from Italian cuisine.

Hot dogs, burgers, and ribs smothered in barbeque sauce are not what you should expect from an Italian barbecue. Think meats and vegetables, covered in herbs and olive oil, cooked over an open flame.

In Italian tradition, this style of cooking is called ‘grigliata’. The focus is on rustic cooking that utilises the fire of the barbeque to enhance the flavour of each dish. The key to a successful Italian barbeque is to keep things nice and simple, whether you are cooking meat, fish or vegetables.

You will probably find that, in each different region in Italy, they will have a different idea about what makes the perfect Italian barbeque, each putting their own stamp on the different recipes, but the fundamentals of Italian barbequing remain the same.

The weather here in the UK might have taken a turn, but summer is not over yet. There is absolutely time for at least one more barbeque, so why not take a little inspiration from the Italians by making these lamb arrosticini kebabs, and vegetable kebabs for your guests.

Even if you don’t want to cook them outside, simply make them in your kitchen. With rich flavours, these kebabs will be a delicious treat, no matter how you cook them.