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The Italian Grill: Fresh Ideas to Fire Up Your Outdoor Cooking
by Micol Negrin
Published by Clarkson Potter, 2005

 

One of the many memorable food experiences I had while in Italy in September, 2006 was a side dish of simply grilled-to-perfection vegetables (strips of zucchini, thinly sliced eggplant, sweet red peppers) that I ordered at a lovely restaurant in Firenze (Florence).

The simple delicious pleasures of grilling Italian style is what author Micol Negrin is teaching us in The Italian Grill on every page of this all too short cookbook!  At the end of reading this cookbook I was still yearning for more!  I think there's a second edition of The Italian Grill just waiting to be born!

Grilling Italian style may come as a surprise to some Americans who think that they are masters of the grill - but in Italy (as well as many other countries) grilling over an open flame is an important part of authentic Italian cooking.   Another memorable grilled food experience I had was at a family style (think long school cafeteria style tables) restaurant that excels at wood burning oven cooking and grilling meats - in the Abruzzi region, near the town of Pescara.  Grilled lamb on skewers - I can still taste the smoky wood flavors in the grilled lamb. 

If you've ever been to Italy you will have no doubt that the word "fresh" is omnipresent in every aspect of Italian cooking.  As Micol Negrin reminds us in her introduction to the book, "grilling strikes me as the perfect way to cook almost anything. It's just you, food, and fire. There's a simplicity to the equation that is pleasing. And as long as the ingredients are perfect, the results are bound to be spectacular."

Every chapter of The Italian Grill begins with a page listing all of the recipes within that chapter, and a favorite feature of mine, each recipe name also lists the page number so you can find that recipe quickly without having to look through an entire chapter!  A small, yet important feature that Clarkson Potter editors provide their readers!

Antipasti Chapter:  my favorite recipe,...Bruschetta with chopped tomatoes, tuna and capers (page 22)

Pizza, focaccia Chapter:  my favorite recipe....Wafer-thin focaccia with rosemary and sea salt (page 36)

Fish and Seafood Chapter:  my favorite recipe....this was a difficult choice as I loved them all....but the swordfish bundles with Sicilian orange and pine nut stuffing won me over (page 77)

Meat and Poultry Chapter:  my favorite recipe.....savory sausage and sweet grape skewers (page 95)

Vegetables Chapter:  my favorite recipe...again, all of the recipes in this chapter are terrific but choosing one, leads me to Baby Artichokes with Fresh Mint (page 130)

There is also a chapter on Sauces, Marinades and spice rubs as well as a dessert chapter, but you'll have to buy the book and choose your own favorite recipes from these and the aforementioned chapters!

About the author:  Micol Negrin was born in Milan so her love of Italian food and cooking in general is not a surprise to her clients as she conducts culinary tours to Italy, and has her own hands-on cooking studio called Rustico in New York City at www.rusticocooking.com

 

 

 

 
     
 
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