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 than the usual dill, and go well with the garlic.
1 to 2 medium-size summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (just enough to fit in a quart jar)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
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 to 2 inches below the 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.
Cover tightly with a canning lid and ring. Allow to sit out at somewhere near room temperature, ideally 60° to 75°F. Check the jars and burp them every 12 hours or so by loosening the lid and allowing some gas to escape.
Let ferment 2 to 5 days, depending on temperature, then transfer to cold storage (refrigerator, root cellar, etc.).