Bread isn't the first thing you think of when the grill is fired up, but there's no more delicious way to make toast. This recipe from "Where There's Smoke" by Barton Seaver (Sterling Epicure, $30) is delicious on its own, but you can top the crostini with chopped tomatoes (presto: bruschetta), grilled vegetables, hummus, chicken-liver pâte or anything else you fancy. Use the best rustic bread you can find.

Bread, sliced (no thinner than 1/4 inch thick, but no thicker than 3/4 inch)

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Garlic cloves (optional), cut in half

1. Slice the bread on a slight bias to maximize the surface area. Generously douse each slice on one side with olive oil and season with salt. Grill directly over the coals until the bread is crackling and toasted crisp. Flip the bread to the far side of the grill and cook another minute or two.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

2. If desired, when the crostini are piping hot and just off the grill, rub each slice with the cut side of the garlic to impart aroma. Serve immediately.