When summer rolls into full gear you can bet your zucchini or summer squash plants will kick into full gear. If you’re wondering what to do with it all why not ferment it which improves flavor, digestibility, and keeps for months in cold storage.
This recipe is versatile in that you can use whatever herbs you have hanging out in your garden. I really like using flowering cilantro heads. It’s a bit different than the usual dill and goes lovely with the garlic.
1-2 medium sized summer squash, cut into 1/2″ chunks (just enough to fit in a quart jar)
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
a few sprigs of flowering cilantro.
a couple of mesquite, oak, or grape leaves (to keep them crunchy)
1 quart of filtered water
2 tablespoons sea salt
Combine water and sea salt, stir well and set aside.
Add the crushed garlic and one sprig of flowering cilantro to the bottom of a quart jar. Fill jar halfway up with chunks of summer squash. Add a bit more garlic and cilantro and fill the jar with squash chunks up to 1-2″ below rim.
Pour salt water brine over the squash. At this point you want to weigh the squash down in order for it to remain below the level of the brine and ferment evenly. This isn’t an ideal solution, but I like to use a narrow-mouthed lid in my wide-mouth quart ferments. Just press it down until enough brine covers it that it weighs the squash down. You could also use a cabbage leaf or a cleaned rock.
Cover tightly with a canning lid and ring. Allow to sit out at somewhere near room temperature, ideally 60-80 degrees. Check your jars and burp them every 12 hours or so by loosening the lid and allowing some gas to escape.
Let ferment 2-5 days, depending on temperature and then transfer to cold storage (refrigerator, root cellar, etc.).