By David Thompson

Summer squash are tender and mild-tasting, so you can season them to your liking to enhance the flavor. They come in yellow, green or white and in a variety of shapes including crook-neck and patty-pan. You can eat them whole, including the soft seeds and rind. Look for small squash that are firm, plump and shiny, without bruises. Baby squash may be only a couple inches long, while regular squash will usually stay tender up to 4 inches in diameter for round shapes or 8 inches in length for straight or crook-neck styles. Larger summer squash may be tough.

Yellow crookneck summer squash

Step 1

Wash one or two summer squash and cut them in slices 1/2-inch thick.

Step 2

Lay the slices in a microwave-safe baking dish, spreading them out evenly. Add 3 tbsp. of water. Cover the baking dish loosely with its own lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap.

Step 3

Microwave on high for 4 to 7 minutes. Stop and check at 3 or 4 minutes to see if the squash is tender by poking a slice with a fork, then continue microwaving, checking regularly and stopping when the squash is done.

Step 4

Drain the squash and serve it with butter or margarine, salt and pepper. If you want, add herbs or seasonings to taste, such as parsley, dill, chives, vinaigrette or a spicy tomato sauce.