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Fermented Pickles

Squash are always in abundance in the summer garden. Here's a unique (and easy) way to use them up and share the bounty.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword fermented pickles, fermenting recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 23 kcal
Author Shannon Stonger

Ingredients

  • 2 Yard-Long or 4 average sized cucumbers
  • 2-4 summer squash
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 handfuls fresh dill or 3 Tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • A handful of tannin containing leaves like oak, grape, mesquite
  • 6-8 T. sea salt
  • Filtered water as needed

Instructions

  1. Place half of the garlic, half of the dill, and half of the red pepper flakes in a gallon-sized jar. (A repurposed sun tea jar works well.) You can also divide the ingredients between two half-gallons or four quarts. Chop the cucumbers and squash into large 1" pieces and add them to the jar(s) until they are half full.
  2. Layer in the other half of the garlic, dill, and pepper flakes along with the tannin-containing leaves. Fill the jar 80% of the way with the remaining cucumber and squash pieces. Add the salt to the top of the vegetables. Pour in enough water to completely submerge the vegetables by 1/2 - 1 inch.
  3. Place a fermentation weight on top of the vegetables to weigh them down to below the level of the brine. Heavier is better; these guys float.
  4. Close the lid tightly onto the jar. Place the jar at cool room temperature to ferment for 1-3 weeks, aiming for a longer, cooler fermentation. During this time you will have to "burp" the jar to release some of the carbon dioxide that builds up as a by-product of fermentation. To do so, simply open the jar quickly but carefully, listen for the sound of pressure releasing, and then tighten it back up swiftly. Any time pressure appears to be building in the lid, repeat burping for the first week. After the first 7-10 days the fermentation process moves on to another stage and the carbon dioxide production tapers.
  5. After a few days the brine will begin to look cloudy - this is a good sign! You can begin checking the pickles for tang and flavor after one week. If they are tangy enough, move them to cold storage in a cellar, basement, or refrigerator. They will keep for months if left unopened.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes one gallon but the beauty of fermentation is that you can make any quantity. A good principle is enough veggies to fill your jar 80% full. Add herbs, ~2 Tablespoons of salt per quart of vegetable, and water to cover. When determining how much salt to use, opt for the lower end of the range if you are fermenting below 75 degrees. Use the upper end of the range if you are fermenting in hotter temperatures.