Summer squash, sometimes referred to as tender squash, are vine fruits that are harvested in the late spring and early summer.
They have tender skins, small edible seeds, and come in colors ranging from bright yellow, to dark green, to white. The most recognizable varieties include green and yellow zucchini (sometimes simply referred to as summer squash) and Pattypan which have a unique flattened sunburst shape. Some varieties, like the Goldbar zuchini, are known for their sweetness and deep buttery yellow color. Summer squash have a unique reputation for their prolific growth and abundant harvests. For this reason, people have found a myriad of uses for this simple food ranging from simply sautéed with olive oil and fresh herbs to grilled or roasted. Ever resourceful, bakers also feature squashes in cakes, breads and cookies. If you have a local source for summer squash, you also have a source for one of the most highly perishable delicacies of the summer growing seasons: squash blossoms. Stuffed with cheese, lightly battered, gently fried and sprinkled with fresh herbs, these summer blooms tell the story of summer in a single bite.
Due to their tender skins, slight blemishes or scratches are almost inevitable on summer squash. Choose those that are only slightly marked, firm and heavy for their size. Look for small to medium sized veggies. The biggest squashes may be tough, watery or lack flavor. Store wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator, for up to three days. Wash right before using.