- 6 baby fennel bulbs or 3 large fennel bulbs with fronds
- 1/2 cup fish broth or clam juice
- 1 Tbsp Pastis, Pernod or other licorice-flavored aperitif, optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 16 sea scallops
- 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil
To make the fennel, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook fennel halves until tender. Remove to ice water bath to stop cooking. In food processor or blender, puree with fish broth until smooth. Stir in licorice-flavored liqueur and salt and pepper. Cut remaining fennel bulbs lengthwise in half.
To make the scallops, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add grapeseed oil. When oil shimmers, add scallops and cook until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side.
To serve, place a large spoonful of mashed sweet potatoes in center of each plate; top with scallops; drizzle with olive oil. Serve with fennel puree and fennel halves.
Adapted from Executive Chef Jeff Jake, The Carneros Inn