I love summer squash such as the zucchini and small yellow pattypan varieties (pictured). While large zucchini is available, the smaller ones are better because they have tender seeds and firmer, less watery flesh. For a quick side dish to accompany grilled meats or roasted chicken, try stuffed zucchini. Halve them lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds and a little of the flesh. Mix breadcrumbs with minced garlic, lots of chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts (optional), salt and pepper. Drizzle in some melted butter to moisten the crumbs, then pat into the zucchini. Put a little water or broth (just enough to create a little steam) into a baking dish, then place the zucchini - crumb-side up - in one layer. Cover with foil and bake in 175-degree Celsius oven until tender, then uncover, turn up the heat and continue baking until crumbs are brown and crisp. Another delicious side dish or light meal is ratatouille. I usually use two varieties of squash (zucchini and either yellow zucchini or pattypan) and red and yellow peppers. I also use Japanese or Chinese eggplant, instead of the big Italian eggplant. I first learned to make this by sauteeing each vegetable separately, then combining them at the end so the flavours can blend. It's not much more work this way - while one vegetable is cooking, you can be cutting up the next one. The vegetables should be seasoned as they're cooked - not just at the end. Start by sauteeing the squashes in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl, add more oil to the pan then cook the peppers for about five minutes. Repeat with the eggplant (it might need extra oil to prevent it from sticking). Clean and dry the pan, add oil, then saute diced onion and sliced garlic until tender. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they've given up some liquid, then pour the sauteed vegetables back into the pan, along with a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme. Adjust seasoning, then cook until vegetables are very tender. Just before serving, add julienned fresh basil and stir in extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot, warm or cold.