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fermented zucchini

Fermented Zucchini with Dill & Garlic

5 from 1 vote


  • 2 1-quart pickling jars
  • Fermentation weights - something to hold your ferment (zucchini) below the brine (liquid). See the recipe notes for more information.


  • 4 cups, or enough to fill your jars, chopped zucchini (I left the skin on, but I cut out the seeded middle)
  • 4 cups room temperature, un-chlorinated water (Note: If your water is chlorinated and you don’t have a filter, let the water stand overnight and the chlorine will evaporate.)
  • 2 tbsp unrefined sea salt
  • 6 to 8 sprigs fresh parsley, dill, or basil (have fun experimenting!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved


  • Wash and dry your pickling jars.
  • Make the brine by dissolving the salt in the water. Note: You want to ensure your water is free from chlorine. Chlorinated water for fermentation will slow or prevent the growth of the beneficial lacto-bacteria and yeasts.
  • Wash your zucchini and put aside any bruised or questionable looking specimens.
  • Pack the herbs, garlic, and zucchini tightly into your jars and cover with brine, leaving about 1 inch of headspace so your bottles don’t explode when the brine begins to bubble up.
  • Now, this is really important – the brine should cover the vegetables at all times or else they will start developing mould and your ferment may be ruined. So long as they remain under the anaerobic safety of the brine, they’ll be fine.
  • To keep the vegetables submerged, you could use a cabbage leaf or a piece of cheesecloth, for example, followed by a fermentation weight.
  • Screw on the lids (but not too tightly in order to let some of the fermentation gasses escape) and set in a location at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Soon you’ll see bubbles of carbon dioxide gas in the brine, which means you’ve been successful and the brine has started to acidify. This is the stage in which you will begin to "burp" your jar every couple of days if you are using a standard sealing lid. Simply unscrew the lid slightly and allow the gas to escape. Over time, the mixture will become cloudy and start to develop a pleasantly sour smell. Lactobacillus species are most abundant during this time. Now, you can start to taste test the zucchini.
  • But here is the tricky part. There doesn’t seem to be a cut and dry date for when fermented zucchinis are done. It seems to depend on the temperature of your home and how sour you like them. It may take a week or two. Remember: Fermented zucchini should smell pleasantly sour. Never eat fermented vegetables that smell bad. You may also want to avoid ferments that smell like alcohol (unless you want to get a bit tipsy). 
  • Once the zucchini is done to your liking, screw the lids on tight and place them in the fridge or other cold storage facility. You may also want to label your ferments with the date.


If you're looking for some creative fermentation weight ideas, check out this post for some creative weight ideas. You can also buy fermentation weights.