It’s courgette season and with every courgette I harvest, or get given by some courgette weary folks, I get to try out a new recipe. This is a simple one: it takes only two ingredients - courgette and salt.
Courgettes have a high water content, which can make it a difficult vegetable to cook with and often the results are somehow unsatisfying. So why not turn this seeming weakness into a strength?
If you’ve ever had a go at fermenting vegetables you’ll know that (good) fermentation happens when vegetables are submerged in liquid (ideally its own juice pulled out by salt). Some vegetables need to be worked quite hard to get the juices out, but courgette is certainly not one of them! The soggy courgette is a dream vegetable for fermentation.
550 gr courgette
1 1/2 tsp of salt
Chop or grate the courgette into a bowl. The finer you chop it the more liquid it will let out.
Add salt and mix it all by hand. Make sure you gently squeeze to help the juice come out.
Pack it all in a crock or a glass container. Push it down with a fist or fingers as you’re packing it to make sure there are no air gaps.
When finished weigh it down with a clean weight. I often use a glass as a weight.
Leave it on the counter to ferment. In summer it will ferment faster and in winter it will take more time.
In about 2-3 days you will start seeing the bubbles which is a sign of fermentation taking place. You can start tasting it then and depending on how sour you like it leave it for longer or eat it right away. Pop it in the fridge once you’re happy with the taste. Keeping it in a fridge will significantly slow down the fermentation so it will keep there for a while.
This is how you can make your courgette harvest last longer, and take all the pressure away to use it all up in one go. It makes a great addition to an abundance bowl or as a condiment that could be added to sandwiches, salads or eaten with other vegetables.
Recommended reading on fermentation:
Sandor Katz ‘The art of fermentation’ and ‘Wild fermentation’.
Vaida is food coordinator at Global Gardens and a food blogger at onesmallspoon.com