Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Squash is taking over the world, are you ready?

Fresh from the garden :)
This year I thought ahead, and planted only TWO squash plants :). Plus, I chose a mediterranean squash (sounded mysterious :)...), and a spaghetti squash instead of our standard zucchini & yellow crookneck. I know I will get both left in anonymous baskets on my front porch not too long from now.

The funny round squash is already bursting. One day I will go out and there is nothing, and the next day there will be a few of fabulous little green pumpkin looking surprises.

I love to ferment, and when I googled, sure enough, I found a Lacto-Fermented Summer Squash recipe. If you’re wondering what to do with it all why not ferment it which improves flavor, digestibility, and keeps for months in cold storage. Quick & simple too, my favorite. And friends, this is what you are getting for Christmas & Yule, as my magic squash plants are promising with lots of flowers......

Lacto-Fermented Summer Squash from
(original recipe here)

  • 1-2 medium sized summer squash, cut into 1/2″ chunks (just enough to fit in a quart jar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 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.
  1. 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 1-2″ below rim.
  1. 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. This isn’t an ideal solution, but I like to use a narrow-mouthed lid in my wide-mouth quart ferments. Just press it down until enough brine covers it that it weighs the squash down. You could also use a cabbage leaf or a cleaned rock.
  1. Cover tightly with a canning lid and ring. Allow to sit out at somewhere near room temperature, ideally 60-80 degrees. Check your jars and burp them every 12 hours or so by loosening the lid and allowing some gas to escape.
  1. Let ferment 2-5 days, depending on temperature and then transfer to cold storage (refrigerator, root cellar, etc.).

P.S. If you are in the need of grape leaves, and live in Sacramento, I am happy to share. I have LOTS. Not sprayed either :). Stuffed grape leaves is next....

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