Antipasti: Fabulous Appetizers and Small Plates

Joyce Goldstein, Author, Paolo Nobile, Photographer, Jeffrey Meisel, Other . Chronicle $19.95 (167p) ISBN 978-0-8118-4872-5

In this enticingly illustrated book, Goldstein (Enoteca ) dresses up classic Italian appetizers with a modern flair that draws on American inspiration as well as new developments in Italy's culinary landscape. Recipes range from the terrific yet simple Venetian specialty Whipped Salt Cod Spread to the more obviously sophisticated Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Warm Chickpea Salad. A few entries, such as the Stuffed Vegetables or Veal with Tuna Sauce will be familiar to most people, but a large number update lesser known preparations from different Italian regions: the Schiacciata (Double-Crusted Pizza) from Calabria and Shellfish Salad with Oranges and Fennel from Sicily are two tasty examples. Preparing center-stage–worthy little dishes inevitably requires big-dish levels of commitment and technique, however, so while Goldstein does include a section of "shop-and-serve" ideas for really basic antipasti such as figs wrapped in prosciutto and mint, the majority of recipes require a generous allowance of time and a fairly self-confident cook. But Goldstein's helpful tips on preparation, Jeffrey Meisel's accompanying wine notes and Paolo Nobile's photography will undoubtedly encourage even the lazier cooks to create an occasion to show off one of these many mouthwatering dishes. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/08/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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