1 cos lettuce
1⁄4 Japanese pumpkin, peeled and cut in 2cm chunks (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 rasher of bacon, diced
1⁄2 cup walnuts (plus 2 tbsp caster sugar and 1 tsp butter for candying, optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey
3 sprigs fresh thyme

1. Wash the lettuce leaves.

2. While they are draining, toss the pumpkin chunks with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt. Grill in a single layer on a lined tray till golden brown, turning once or twice.

3. Pan fry bacon till crisp.

4.To candy walnuts, prepare a sheet of baking paper for the nuts to cool on. Heat walnut kernels with sugar and butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon till the sugar melts and nuts are coated, about 5 minutes. Turn out immediately onto the baking paper and separate with 2 forks.

5.Or to dry roast walnuts, pre-heat oven to 150° C. Spread walnut kernels in a single layer on an oven tray and roast for about 8 minutes (watch that they don’t burn). Remove from oven and cool.

6.For the dressing, mix 2 tbsp olive oil with lemon juice, honey and picked thyme leaves in a small jar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7.Combine lettuce, warm pumpkin and bacon. Toss with dressing and sprinkle with cooled roasted or candied walnuts and serve.

Adapted from Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks.