Summer squash is sweet and tender when harvested young, making it ideal for eating fresh, cooked in stir-fries or fried as a side dish. Its delicate flavor and crisp texture blends well with tomatoes and onions. Available in variety of types, many refer to yellow crookneck or straight neck squash as summer squash and cylindrical, green squash a zucchini. It should be noted, however, that zucchini is a type of summer squash and can be substituted in recipes that call for summer squash.
Pick summer squash when they are 6 to 8 inches long and have a diameter of 1-1/2 to 2 inches. These immature squash have tender skins and crisp tender fruit. Seeds are immature and the squash does not require deseeding.
Wash the squash in cold water to remove garden soil or pesticide residue. Pat dry with paper towels or a soft cloth.
Slice off the ends and discard. Slice the summer squash into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Uniform size rings makes cooking easier and creates an attractive dish.
Dip the summer squash slices into a saucer of milk to coat.
Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Add fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil or thyme, if preferred.
Remove summer squash from the milk, and dip into the flour mixture. Flip to coat both sides. A thin layer of flour will stick to the summer squash.
Heat oil in a flat-bottomed pan. Cast iron pans work well as they distribute the heat evenly, but other pans can be used.
Fry over medium heat until the summer squash is golden brown. Flip to fry the opposite side.
Serve as a side dish or as a light summer meal.