When summer rolls into full gear you can just bet that your zucchini or summer squash plants will kick into full 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
Combine water and sea salt, stir until dissolved, and set aside.
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.
Pour salt water brine over the squash until covered. Weigh the squash down below the level of the brine. Store extra brine for later use.
Cover tightly. Ferment at 60°-75°F. Check the jars and burp them every 12 hours or so by loosening the lid and allowing some gas to escape.
Ferment 2-5 days, depending on temperature, then transfer to cold storage.