spiced white melon salad

it's hard to believe that today is labor day! summer has flown by - a fact that i am grappling with. i only read two books. i worked all but one weekend. never jumped into a lake. only took one camping trip. maybe there is still time to tuck in a few more summer activities this month while the weather is still warm. but i also happen to love the fall for its colors and flavors. so not to fret. there are other things to look forward to. 

this snow leopard melon has been sitting in my fridge for a week or so. and while it is a fashion faux pas to wear white after labor day, i don't see why i can't eat a white mellon salad. hmm? i recently had a cocktail at joule that had white rum, lime and sumac. now i know i had sumac in my spice drawer, and have used it to make za'atar (a middle eastern spice mixture of sumac, thyme and sesame seeds) but have rarely used it on it's own for flavor. the cocktail was unusual and amazing. sumac is tangy and tart, with a flavor unlike anything else i can think of. while sipping my cocktail, i was imagining what other flavors would go along with sumac and melon came to mind. so here you have it: a white melon salad spiced with sumac and aleppo pepper. 

white melon salad ~ serves 2
half of a small white melon (or other melon varieties)
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 large pinches of sumac
1 pinch aleppo pepper
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

chill your melon for at least an hour or more. slice melon in half. remove seeds and pith with a wide metal spoon. slice melon as you like, small bites or larger thin triangle shapes. place in bowl and toss with rice vinegar and spices. top with crumbled feta and a drizzle of olive oil. serve chilled. optionally: let melon pickle slightly in vinegar for an hour or two before serving. 

*be sure to use unseasoned rice wine vinegar. you don't need the added sugar that 'seasoned' vinegars have... the melon is plenty sweet enough!