We don’t use this word in describing food all that often, but this fruit salad is downright elegant. It’s sweet, tart, bright and punchy, thanks to some serious grinds of black pepper. If your figs are super-ripe and sweet, opt for a tarter plum to provide an acidic counterpoint; if your figs are a bit less ripe and still have a hint of that earthiness/grassiness that figs can sometimes have, pick a sweeter varietal of plum (or pluot) for a foil. If manouri isn’t available (we’re pretty lucky to have a regular source, Aris, makers of the best stuff we’ve found), thick shavings of ricotta salata would do quite nicely, or spoonfuls of fresh ricotta. We love it at brunch, but it could shine at dessert — just substitute fresh ricotta (stirred with a touch of honey and the scrapings from a vanilla bean).
Slice figs in half, tip to tail, and lay cut-side up on a serving dish. Slice plums in wedges and tuck them amongst the fig halves. Tuck some bite-sized hunks of manouri in there, then halve a few pecans and scatter those in there, too.
Warm some honey (in a microwave or in its jar in a pot on the stove), add a whole bunch of freshly ground black pepper, and give it a thorough stir. You want a good bit of pepper in here or the flavor won’t come through. Slice mint leaves into thin ribbons, if they’re big (if they’re tiny, just leave them whole).
Just before serving, drizzle the black pepper honey all over the fruit and manouri — really Jackson Pollack it on there. Sprinkle mint over top and serve with a knife and fork.