Known mainly as a tomato-heavy summer dish, panzanella, the Italian bread salad, also adapts to autumnal ingredients, including braised fennel, roasted squash, and roasted mushrooms. Because these items are less juicy than ripe tomatoes, you have to go a little heavier on the dressing to soften the bread. It’s important to use high-quality bread and to toast it to a medium-light shade so that it will retain some texture. Even so, time is not kind to bread salads — they get soggy if they sit for an hour, so serve them without delay.
All three recipes here are hearty, and the mushroom and the squash versions become main dishes with the addition of shaved Parmesan or crumbled feta.