Fermented foods have become a big part of my diet in the last 6 months or so. Kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented vegetables and more. It was the book Wild Fermentation that got me started and I’ve not looked back. I’ve recently discovered a very simple fermented food which can be made in minutes, although of course you need to wait for them to ferment, usually around 3 days: fermented whole courgettes.
For this to work, you need very small courgettes. The ones in the photo are probably a bit too big, it works better with smaller ones.
The process is really simple:
1) Take a kilner jar, (or a screw top jar) and wash well with hot water. The larger the jar, the better, the jar pictured is 1.7 litres.
2) Fill jar with whole courgettes.
3) If desired you can add some flavouring, I’ve used various combinations of grated ginger, grated turmeric, crushed coriander seeds and crushed cumin seeds. It does also work well without any flavouring, just experiment and see what you like.
4) Mix the brine – for each litre of your jar, use 1 teaspoon of salt, so for example for this 1.7 litre jar, use approx 1.7 teaspoons of salt. Mix with water and add to the courgettes so they are completely covered. If necessary, use something to push them under the water if they are floating to the top – a boiled and scrubbed stone works well.
And that’s it. Check every day that the courgettes are still completely submerged, and remove any scum that may form on top. Taste after 3 days. After 6 days or so (or once they are to your liking) you might want to put them in the fridge to stop them fermenting any more.
In hot weather the fermentation happens quicker, in cold weather slower. The more salt you add, the slower the fermentation, so in really hot weather adding more salt can slow the fermentation down and in cold weather less salt will speed up the fermentation.
If you can’t find small enough courgettes, you can also use larger ones and slice them. Make the slices quite thick slices, around 1cm each.
Let me know your favourite fermented recipes in the comments…