2 small to medium cubanelle or banana pepper (see picking the perfect pepper below)
flaky coarse sea salt
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, large ones torn
¼ lb ricotta salata cheese, thinly sliced
very good extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Seed and peel the melon half. Cut it in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise on a diagonal. Trim and seed the peppers, then thinly slice them crosswise into rings.
On a large platter, arrange a layer of slightly overlapping melon slices and generously season with crushed pinches of salt. Add layers of the peppers, basil and cheese. If layering a second round, remember to season with salt between the layers of melon. Crush several generous pinches of salt over the top of the salad, then drizzle generously with oil. Serve immediately.
Picking the Perfect Pepper: Cubanelle peppers (sometimes labeled "Italian frying peppers") are long tapered sorts, mild and sweet. Banana peppers make a good substitute, but be sure to taste first--I prefer a sweet, not hot, pepper for this dish. (Note: banana peppers resemble their semi-fiery cousin, the Hungarian wax pepper, so it’s easy to bring home the heat when you are really looking for the sweet.)