Not here. Both branzino and zucchini blossom are readily available, and with price tags that didn't make me weep. They made me smile.
But there's another exciting thing I'm experiencing right now that almost makes me more excited than food: watching the soccer World Cup... in a country that really cares for soccer. Because there are only a few things that are more Italian than soccer, or watching soccer for that matter. And especially watching the World Cup, which is one of the few times when Italians come together and cheer for the same thing —namely the Italian team. I have many funny, sad, exciting and boring stories about the past World Cups and about me watching them, and I will tell you all of them in the next 30 days. But for now, I want to leave you with a recipe that kind of brings together two of my biggest passions, two things that really don't go well together: soccer and fine cuisine. So what does a fish tartare have to do with soccer, you may ask? Well, look at it. You will notice that this dish has the colors of my flag —red, white and green. Go Italy!
SEABASS TARTARE WITH ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS, BASIL AND TOMATO
3/4 pounds Mediterranean seabass, minced
6 baby zucchini with their flowers
A handful of basil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tomato, cubed
Salt and pepper
Mince zucchini flowers, , wash the zucchini and cut into small cubes.
Thinly slice shallot and soak in cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain, dry and place into a blender with a little olive oil, salt to taste, juice of a half lime, a handful of fresh basil and few drops of Tabasco.
Mix the minced seabass with the cubed tomato, zucchini and their flowers. Season with salt and pepper and season with the sauce you made in the blender. Shape using a mold and enjoy immediately.