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Lacto-fermented Summer Squash

When summer rolls into high gear you can just bet that your zucchini or summer squash plants will kick into high gear as well. Fermenting these vegetables not only improves flavor and digestibility, it also prepares them to keep for months in cold storage.

This recipe is versatile in that you can use whatever herbs you have hanging out in your garden. Flowering cilantro heads are tasty, a bit different from the usual dill, and go well with the garlic.


  • 1 quart filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1-2 medium summer squash, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • A few sprigs of flowering cilantro
  • A couple of mesquite, oak, or grape leaves


  1. Combine water and sea salt, stir until dissolved, and set aside.
  2. Add 1 mesquite, oak or grape leaf, 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 inches below the rim. Top with a few more leaves.
  3. Pour salt water brine over the squash until covered. Use a fermentation weight to keep the squash under the liquid. Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  4. Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
  5. Once the squash is finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage.


Ready for More Fermented Summer Vegetable Recipes?

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