Fresh raw yellow zucchini

You do not need elaborate equipment to steam fresh vegetables such as squash and zucchini. These can be prepared in minutes on the stove top using a vegetable steamer. This process yields a side dish that is quick to make and healthful. Zucchini and yellow squash are known as summer squash, when they are most abundant, but they are readily available all year. Unlike winter squash, summer varieties have thin skin that is easily peeled. They also take less time to cook.

Fill the saucepan with water to cover the bottom half inch of the pot.

Bring the pot of water to a boil over medium high heat.

While the water is heating, peel the squash or zucchini, if desired. Otherwise thoroughly wash the outside of the squash in soap and water, patting dry with paper towels

Slice the zucchini or squash into half-inch-thick slices on top of the cutting board. Make sure that the slices are similar sizes. You could also dice the squash if preferred.

Insert the vegetable steamer into the saucepan.

Add the cut squash into the vegetable steamer and cover the pot with the lid.

Let the squash steam, covered, until crisp tender. This will be about 5-to-77 minutes.

Using the pot holder, remove the vegetable steamer from the pot and pour the steamed squash or zucchini into a serving dish.

Serve hot with salt and pepper and melted butter if desired.