Lacto-fermented Summer Squash


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

  1. Combine water and sea salt, stir well, and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. Let ferment 2 to 5 days, depending on temperature, then transfer to cold storage (refrigerator, root cellar, etc.).



Fresh Summer Squash

Related Articles & Recipes


Related Products

Harch Fermenting Crock Fermenting Crocks
Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture Caldwell's Vegetable Starter Culture
Wild Fermentation Sandor Katz Book Wild Fermentation

Free eBook Library Access & Weekly Newsletter

Sign up today for free access to our entire library of easy to follow eBooks on creating cultured foods at home, including Lacto-Fermentation, Kombucha, Kefir, Yogurt, Sourdough, and Cheesemaking.
  • Library of eBooks for making your own cultured foods
  • Weekly newsletter filled with tips & tricks
  • Expert advice articles, recipes, and how-to videos
  • Join 140,000+ other health-conscious readers
  • We never share your information!
first name last name email address