This dish makes as beautiful a presentation as it does a delicious salad.
8 ounces carrots (about 3 medium)
2 medium fennel bulbs
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Champagne vinegar, plus more as needed
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups watercress sprigs, thick stems removed
1 cup tangerine sections
freshly ground black pepper
Use a mandolin or very sharp knife, shave the carrots lengthwise into ribbons. Cut off the stalks and fronds from the fennel bulbs if still attached. Shave the fennel lengthwise like the carrots. Place the carrots and fennel in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Let stand for 20 minutes to soften. Add the red onion. Gently mix in watercress and tangerines. Season with salt and pepper; toss well, taste and add more vinegar if needed. Serve immediately.
For the Salad
2 lbs ripe Jersey tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Preheat oven to 375°F with a cookie sheet in it. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it foams. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the cheese and toss again while warm to melt the cheese. Bake, stirring once or twice until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool.
For the Salad
Drain the tomatoes in a sieve to remove excess liquid while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, tarragon, salt and pepper. Add the croutons and toss well. Divide tomato mixture among four plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the arugula. With a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmigiano over the salad. Serve immediately.