- 13 kg snapper, gilled, gutted and scaled
- 250 ml (1 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 30 Bosane olives, cheeks cut from the pit (see below)
- 500 ml (2 cups) Vernaccia di Oristano (see below)
- 150 gm butter, diced
- Small handful finely sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Remove snapper from fridge 30-40 minutes before cooking. Cover and set aside in a cool place to come to room temperature.
- Using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim fins and tail. Thoroughly rinse belly cavity, removing any blood, then pat dry inside and out. Score snapper on one side, making 5 or 6 diagonal cuts just through to the bone. Sprinkle both sides of the fish generously with sea salt flakes, patting it into the skin.
- Preheat oven to 220C. Heat a large heavy-based roasting tin on the stovetop over medium heat. Pour in oil and, when hot, carefully place fish in tin, scored-side down. Cook until skin is crisp (about 6 minutes), then turn and cook for a further 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place stock in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
- Scatter garlic and olives over fish, add wine and bring to the boil. Add hot fish stock, cover tightly with a double layer of foil and cook in oven, basting frequently, until fish is cooked through (about 25 minutes). Check the flesh where the fish is scored: the flesh near the bone at the thickest part of the fish should be white. Remove from oven, place fish on a platter, then cover loosely with foil and set aside in a warm place while you make the sauce. Place roasting tin on stove top over high heat, bring cooking juices to the boil and boil until reduced by a third. Whisk in the butter. Stir in parsley and spoon sauce over the fish. Serve hot.
Note Bosane olives are large green olives from Bosa, a small town on the west coast of Sardinia. If they’re unavailable, use Sicilian green olives.
Vernaccia di Oristano is a white wine made from an indigenous Sardinian grape.
If it’s unavailable, use another dry white wine.
This recipe is from the September 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
A Sardinian Cookbook by Giovanni Pilu and Roberta Muir is published by Lantern, $49.99, hbk. This extract has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.