Yellow pattypans, the summer squash in the photograph, slice up into charming shapes because of their scalloped edges. Select pattypans no bigger than 3 inches. (Like other summer squash, smaller ones are tastier and more tender, while larger examples are usually bland and waterlogged.) Try sliced pattypans steamed and drizzled with a fruity, peppery olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, or tossed into a stir-fry. When sautéing any summer squash, use very high heat—due to its high water content, it will steam over lower heat.
Many gardeners have a mother lode of summer squash right about now. So after you’ve steamed and sautéed all the summer squash you can handle, add some to a summer stew along with herbs, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and wax beans or make a big batch of summer squash soup to eat now and freeze for later. Flavor it with fragrant curry powder and a tart Granny Smith apple, and serve it hot or cold, topped with a dab of sour cream.