Recipe: Lacto-fermented Summer Squash Spears

Who says pickles have to be made from cucumbers? These yellow spears are just as refreshing and snappy.


  • 1-3 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 medium young summer squash
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, if desired
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 2 grape leaves or 10 mesquite leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. starter brine from a previous ferment


  1. Dissolve salt in the water. Refrigerate.
  2. Slice the squash lengthwise, and then into spears long enough to fit standing up in the jar. Lay the jar on its side and pack the spears in tightly, fitting in the shorter pieces in the middle.
  3. Add the pepper flakes, fresh dill, and grape or mesquite leaves, sliding them in tightly against the sides of the jar. Pour in the starter and then chilled brine to cover the spears completely.
  4. Cover with a lid, tightly, and place on the counter away from drafts and direct sunlight. Ferment for about 4 days, checking frequently and scraping away any mold.
  5. Transfer the jar to cold storage. Will keep for 3-4 months if kept covered and cold.

At A Glance

PREP: 4 days
COOK: 15 minutes
TOTAL: 4 days, 15 minutes
YIELD: Makes 2 lacto-fermented squash.