You can smell it, squeeze it, tap it, and shake it, but you can’t really know for sure if you have a great cantaloupe until you taste it.  When you luck into a perfect one, treat yourself to a block of the best feta cheese you can find and try this easy, elegant salad.  You could add a pinch of basil chiffonade and a slice of prosciutto or sopressata, if you like.  Just make sure your melon is at room temperature — chilled fruit tastes less sweet.

Cantaloupe and feta cheese

Yield:  Serves 6 as a first course

1 ripe cantaloupe, at room temperature

5 oz. best-quality feta cheese, crumbled

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Halve and seed cantaloupe, then cut each half into 6 wedges.  Remove rind from each wedge.  Arrange 2 wedges on each salad plate.  Divide cheese among plates, then drizzle each with a tiny bit of olive oil and a grinding of pepper.

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