Ah, continuing with Bugialli and my trek around Sardinia: Pesce alla Vernaccia, pp 180, 181. Also the cover illustration. Some of the best fish I have had, served with a bottle of Vermentino de Sardegna. Fairly simple recipe. The difficulty was sourcing the Vernaccia di Oristano.
The branzino is flavored by nothing more than salt, lemon zest, olives, and Vernaccia di Oristano. I hate to think what this would cost in a restaurant.
But I must call shenanigans! I'd like nothing better than to have Bugialli jump in here and explain my ignorance. However let me explain: there are two full page illustrations of this dish, the front cover and page 181. It was not for a while I noticed these were not the same picture. Both show the identical serving platter and the same background of the Roman sewage system. (Sometimes Bugialli shares too much information.) But the cover shows five fish and three wine glasses, while page 181 shows four fish and four wine glasses. The cover shows whole black olives as called for in the recipe. Page 181 shows pitted green olives, an anathema. Plus the cover shows the poor fish sprinkled with some unspecified green stuff!
What's worse none of the nine fish show any trace of breading. None. Which is difficult to conceal with breaded fish. If I had to guess I'd say Bugialli's fish are props. Not cooked at all. There I've said it.
My problem was that even in my large Falk pan the fish didn't nearly fit. Oops. Rather than turning the fish once as called for I had to scoot it around to get it cooked. Yes I took pictures, but they were not the prettiest.
One can only eat
and drink so much. But I finished the fish. I could not face the thought of leftovers.
I would not attempt this dish again till I had a larger pan or a smaller fish. Not to mention more Vernaccia di Oristano.
Edit: tonight's baguette was excellent.