Chef Neil Rogers, Tomasso Trattoria, Southborough Serves 6
1 ¾ pounds Nantucket bay scallops 1 bulb fennel, cut into ¼ inch dice 1 onion, cut into ¼ in dice 1 clove garlic, minced ¼ cup loose pack basil, sliced into chiffonade 4 tablespoons butter ¼ cup anise flavored liqueur, like Pernod, Pastis, or Ouzo 2 cups bread crumbs ¼ cup chopped parsley 3 egg yolks 3 cups canola oil 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard juice of one lemon extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450°.
In a large Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat till foamy, add onions, fennel, garlic, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Sweat for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are soft and translucent.
Deglaze the pan with the liqueur and cook for 5 minutes, reducing the liquid in the pan till almost evaporated, then remove and pour into a small bowl to cool.
While the vegetable mixture is cooling, in a separate pan sautéed the scallops in butter for about 3 minutes and put aside.
Place egg yolks in a food processor with the garlic, lemon, mustard, and vegetables from cooking the scallops, turn on for 2 minutes and puree to a smooth paste. With the machine running, add the canola oil in a thin, steady stream to emulsify for the aïoli, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Place scallops in lightly buttered ramekins or oven proof dish, top with aioli and sprinkle generously with bread crumbs.
Bake until aïoli is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned and toasty. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley.