Micol Negrin, Author . Clarkson Potter $25 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4000-5422-0

This tightly focused volume may be less comprehensive than Negrin's first cookbook, the James Beard Award–nominated Rustico , but it's no less appealing. The grill's draw is that it turns out uncomplicated food without much stress, and Negrin respects that philosophy with such recipes as Tomato-Rubbed

Bruschetta, and Sea Bream with Caramelized Lemons and Fresh Bay Leaves on skewers. On the other hand, a book on Italian grilling could have devolved into a series of similar recipes instructing readers to rub-with-olive-oil-and-sprinkle-with-garlic. Instead, Negrin offers many unusual ways to cook over an open fire. An entire chapter on bread preparations includes Focaccia Stuffed with Mascarpone and Truffled Olive Oil, and a Black and White Pizza with ricotta, goat cheese and olive paste. Fish recipes are equally inventive: a Sardinian-style Lobster, Lemon, and Mint Salad can be served warm or at room temperature. Basic information on both grills and ingredients is excellent. Negrin never calls for grilling where baking would do, and even simple desserts such as Summer Fruit Packets with Moscato d'Asti have a quiet sophistication that is welcome in a guide to using our most rustic cooking method. Combining two of the hottest, most long-lasting trends in cookbooks (Italian food and grilling), this book's only drawback is the scant number of recipes (85 total). 50 color photos. Agent, Judith Riven. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!