You can use any hearty winter squash for this recipe — it doesn’t have to be pumpkin. The bacon and vinegar pair really well with the sweetness of the squash, and the bread cubes make it sort of like a deconstructed stuffing.
6 cups of cubed day-old bread (we used sourdough; cut it roughly into 1 1/2 inch cubes)
5 cups of diced peeled pumpkin, marrow squash, or other winter squash (about 1/2 inch cubes)
4 slices center-cut bacon, diced
3 shallots, sliced thinly
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling the bread cubes and squash)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread cubes on a large baking tray and drizzle them lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat the bread. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy. Transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Put the squash cubes on the baking sheet and toss lightly with a drizzle of oil, then roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until fork-tender but not mushy. Add the roasted squash to the bread cubes.
In a nonstick skillet, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until it starts to brown slightly and render its fat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until the shallots are soft and the bacon is crisp. Remove the shallots and bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and add to the bread cubes and squash.
In a small bowl or pitcher, whisk together the mustard, honey, and vinegar. Gradually add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, whisking continuously until the dressing thickens slightly and is combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the panzanella mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated. Let the salad sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve room temperature.