Summer Squash Pickles

 

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Lacto-fermented vegetables (made using a simple brine instead of vinegar) 
are delicious, easy to make and healthy too!

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 1 or 2 quart sized (or larger) glass jars with lids
  • Brine made from 2-3 T. salt dissolved in 1 quart of non-chlorinated water
  • 2-3 Summer squash or zucchini, cut into slices, chunks or spears
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic
  • a few fresh grape leaves (tannins help keep veggies crisp)
  • fresh coriander, (with flowers or seeds welcome)
  • optional: 1 T. dried coriander seeds and 1 cinnamon stick
  • other options include:

~4 T. whey (helps to get the lacto-fermentation process started)

~Use other fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary or dill

~Use other dried spices such as black pepper corns, mustard seed,

dill seed, cloves, whole allspice, red pepper flakes, cloves, etc.

In a clean, quart sized (or bigger) jar with a tight-fitting lid, place some fresh herbs, a clove of garlic and a grape leave.  Pack in the squash until jar is half full.  Put in another layer of seasonings and a grape leaf and fill with more squash until top of vegetables are a little more than an inch from the top of the jar.  Put in the last of the seasonings and top with a grape leaf tucked down around vegetables.  If using whey, add to jar.

Pour in brine until veggies are covered (this is key), and liquid is at least one inch from top of jar.  Put lid on securely and label or mark the date somewhere so you remember when you started your pickles.  Leave on the counter out of direct sun for three days.  After this time, the brine should be nice and cloudy with lots of bubbles.  Taste your pickles and if they’re sour enough, put them in the fridge and enjoy!

If you want a little more kick, feel free to leave them on the counter for as long as a week (if it’s not too hot. Ideal temp is low 70s), making sure to “burp” the jar every day or two to release the pressure from fermentation.  I find that 3-5 days is plenty in the summertime.  In cooler temperatures, the fermentation process is slower, and pickles can take up to a month or two to get nice and sour.

Lily K. Morris is a writer, artist, certified health practitioner and healing foods specialist, among other things. She loves to wander the woods and fields of Chappy in search of beauty, inspiration and nourishment. Find out more about making cultured and lacto-fermented veggies on her blog at http://www.waltzingwithwellness.com.