For a sweet-and-salty version, add a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar to this side. Want more crunch? Swap in bacon instead of pancetta.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a small bowl. Raise heat to medium-high and add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Add Brussels sprouts, keeping them in a single layer as much as possible. (Having a few extra sprouts, as shown here, is fine, but if they are mounded in a pile, they will not brown or cook evenly. If necessary, use a larger pan, cook them in 2 batches or pull out extra for another use.) Stir in salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are tender and well browned, even charred in spots, about 10 minutes. If sprouts brown too quickly, lower heat to medium.
Add fig jam and 1 Tbsp. water; stir until jam melts and coats Brussels sprouts. Add pancetta and pepper and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Serve warm.
Adapted with permission from Brassicas, by Laura B. Russell (Ten Speed Press, copyright 2014).