Roasted squash and salmon: summer simplicity

photo by: Nick Krug

Panko-Encrusted Salmon with Summer Vegetables

I wrote last week about liking to cook simple things in the summer that aren’t fussy, with ingredients that are easily accessible from the kitchen or garden. I also like to avoid turning on the oven, but when the heat index is over 100 degrees, sometimes indoor cooking is a necessity.

When that happens, I like to make things that will cook quickly. No roasting large pieces of meat for hours. I want to cook and move on.

Cooking things with few ingredients is another goal for fresh summer cooking. A vegetable or two, a protein, maybe some fresh herbs, and you can have a delicious, nutritious meal without dirtying every dish in the house and spending a lot of time and money on long ingredient lists.

I try to eat salmon or some fish at least once a week, even though my kids will have nothing to do with it. That means I enjoy eating vegetables that they don’t like and do a full on “Mama Meal” for myself.

This week’s Mama Meal was panko-encrusted salmon with garden vegetables. I love this because I do it all on one cookie sheet and there’s so little mess. It makes a nice presentation, even if it’s just for me. Sometimes I need to look at something on my plate other than a salad or a kid meal of chicken nuggets and green beans, you know?

Panko-encrusted Salmon with Summer Vegetables


1 full salmon fillet (fresh is best but frozen will do)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Cracked black pepper
1 small summer squash, sliced thinly and quartered
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 tablespoons diced serrano pepper
Olive oil


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle a little olive oil on a large cookie sheet and lay the salmon fillet on, skin side down.

Sprinkle with kosher salt.

In a small bowl, mix together the panko and the dried herbs and little more salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the panko liberally over the fish.

Arrange the squash around the salmon, and sprinkle the diced tomato and peppers over the top of everything. Salt and pepper the veggies, and drizzle everything with olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the fish is flaky. A thinner cut of salmon will need less cooking time.

Squeeze the lemon over the top and serve hot.

Serves three generous portions