Take advantage of the abundance of summer vegetables with these recipe ideas for fermenting them!
We love summer vegetables which come sun-kissed to the market stalls. It’s a celebration of flavour, colour, and freshness!
Fermentation increases the nutritional values of vegetables while developing new flavours. Fermenting your vegetables also allows you to extend the harvest season, so you can enjoy the summer a little longer.
Through fermentation, rediscover the emblematic summer vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and beans, but also vegetables that we would never think of fermenting, such as garlic flowers and aromatic herbs!
Here are 22 recipes and ideas for fermenting summer vegetables. To learn more about fermenting vegetables, check out our complete guide to lacto-fermentation or all of our fermented vegetable recipes.
Go straight to your favourite vegetable:
Although available year-round, Canadian garlic is usually harvested in early August. In lacto-fermentation, garlic reigns in strength. It lends its pronounced taste to many recipes: pickles, kimchi, carrots, Lebanese turnips, etc.
However, we also like to ferment it on its own! Garlic cloves can be left to ferment in brine for several weeks or even years. Over time, the garlic softens and becomes almost sweet.
Note: is your garlic turning blue or green? It’s perfectly normal and harmless. This is a chemical reaction due to the acidity of the fermentation. Learn more : Why Does Fermenting Garlic Turn Blue (or Green)?
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Garlic Cloves
1. Stack the garlic cloves in a jar and cover them with 3% salt brine.
2. Let it ferment for at least 1 month, or forget about it in a cupboard until the next time you move.
Eat the garlic cloves like candy (or almost…)
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Garlic Paste
1. In a food processor, puree the garlic cloves and 2% of their weight in salt.
2. Place in a jar and let it ferment for a week at room temperature.
Can be stored for life (yes, yes) in the fridge. Use in all the recipes that require garlic, or to protect yourself from vampires.
Recipe for Fermented Garlic With Honey (or Fermented Honey With Garlic)
1. Put the garlic cloves in a jar.
2. Cover with honey.
3. Let it ferment for a month.
Use both honey and garlic (two fermentations in one!). For more information, check out the fermented honey with garlic recipe.
Lacto-fermented pickles are a classic in fermentation and for a good reason! They’re crunchy, tasty, and will enhance any burger or sandwich.
However, since cucumbers contain a lot of water, they are more likely to soften during fermentation.
Here are some tips for successful pickling:
● Use Kirby type cucumbers for pickling
● Add a source of tannins (grape leaves, tea, horseradish)
● Remove the ends to avoid softening by the enzymes
● Plunge the cucumbers into an ice water bath
● Let it ferment for a few days only
For more information, see 10 Tips for Crisp Pickles.
Recipes for Lacto-Fermented Dill Pickles
1. Stack the cucumbers in a jar with flavourings (garlic, pepper, dill).
2. Cover with 4% salt brine.
3. Let it ferment for 4 to 7 days.
For details, check out our lacto-fermented pickles recipe.
Recipe for Fermented Mexican Cucumbers (Cucamelons)
Stack Mexican cucumbers (cucamelons, or mouse melon) in a jar with pickle spices (mustard, coriander, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaf, etc.)
1. Cover with 4% salt brine.
2. Let it ferment for 4 to 7 days.
3. Slip into your next martini.
Cucumber Kimchi Recipe
Stuffed cucumber kimchi (oi sobagi) is a very popular side dish in Korea.
1. Mix together the Lebanese cucumber chunks, chili, garlic, ginger, shredded carrots, and fish sauce (find inspiration from our traditional kimchi recipe).
2. Let it ferment for one day at room temperature.
Pickle fan? Check out our Fermented Pickle Kit.
Fennel shines in fermentation! It retains its crispness and delicate aniseed flavour, while becoming slightly tenderer and tangier. Try it on its own in brine, or with other vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, carrots).
We like to combine it with lemon, cilantro, or Indian flavours, for an unusual experience. A vegetable to discover!
Fennel leaves can also be used as seasoning with carrots or pickles. The bulb can be cut into chunks or chopped and added to sauerkraut or chutney. However, remove the stalk and stems, which are too fibrous.
Sauerkraut and Fennel Recipe
Add a fennel bulb (or two) to your favourite sauerkraut recipe!
1. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and the cabbage head.
2. Massage with 2% salt to draw out the water.
3. Place in a jar, pack well, add weight and lid.
4. Let it ferment for 2 to 4 weeks.
Recipe for Fennel Chutney
The aniseed flavour of fennel is particularly interesting in chutney.
1. Mix chopped fennel with onions, cranberries, apples, and 2% salt.
2. Let it ferment for a fortnight.
Enjoy with your favourite grilled meat.
Recipe for Lemon Lacto-Fermented Fennel
1. Place fennel quarters in a jar with a slice of lemon.
2. Cover with 2% salt brine.
3. Let it ferment for at least 2 weeks.
Eat with chicken or in your favourite salad.
Aromatic Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Etc.)
Can aromatic herbs be lacto-fermented? Of course, they can! It’s a great way to keep the freshness of the abundant summer herbs.
During the lacto-fermentation process, aromatic herbs keep their essential oils, unlike dried herbs. Be careful not to ferment for too long, or you will end up with a mush. Unless, of course, that is the desired texture!
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Basil
1. Pack basil leaves and 2% salt in a jar.
2. Let it ferment for one to two weeks.
Serve on your homemade pizzas. For more information, see our recipe for lacto-fermented basil.
Recipe for Lacto-fermented Chimichurri Sauce
1. Mix basil, cilantro, and parsley in a jar.
2. Cover with 2% salt brine.
3. Ferment for 5 to 10 days.
4. Strain and grind the fermented herbs with a drizzle of oil until desired consistency.
Serve with your BBQ grilled meats.
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Green Coriander Seeds
1. Harvest the coriander seeds while they are still green and crunchy.
2. Place in a jar with 2% salt brine and let it ferment for about a week.
Use on fish or salads.
We love garlic cloves, but we can’t get enough garlic flowers! Early summer, garlic sprouts and forms a long, curled stalk with a flower. This stalk tastes a lot like garlic, only fresher. In addition, garlic flowers do not give you bad breath!
Garlic flowers are used everywhere you would use garlic. One of our favourite ways to enjoy them is as a pesto. It goes on our pasta, pizzas, and toast in the morning.
Note: garlic flowers have not been tested against vampires. Use at your own risk.
Recipe for Fermented Garlic Scape Paste
1. In a food processor, puree the garlic scape with 2% salt and a little lemon.
2. Ferment in a jar for about ten days.
See our fermented garlic scape paste recipe for more information.
Recipe for Fermented Garlic Scapes in Chunks
1. Stack the garlic scape chunks in a jar.
2. Cover with 2% salt brine.
3. Let it ferment for a few weeks.
Chop and sprinkle on marinades, dressings, and salads.
To prevent the beans from softening during fermentation, use very fresh beans and keep the fermentation shorter. Different varieties of beans can be used: green, yellow, purple, etc.
Recipe for Pickled Green Beans
1. As with dill carrots, stack your beans vertically in a jar with garlic, pepper, and dill.
2. Cover with 2% salt brine and a weight to keep the beans submerged.
3. Let it ferment for one to two weeks.
Serve with your favourite Bloody Caesar.
Recipe for Yellow Beans with Lemon
1. Stack yellow beans and a slice of lemon vertically.
2. Cover with 2% salt brine and a weight.
3. Let it ferment for one to two weeks.
Serve with grilled meat or fish.
Lacto-fermented corn is a real discovery! Because it naturally contains high levels of sugar, corn evolves considerably during the fermentation process. Taste it at different stages of fermentation to see how you like it.
To avoid alcoholic fermentation, add a source of lactic acid bacteria. You don’t want to end up with corn wine! (although…)
Recipe for Fermented Corn Cob
1. Cut the corn cobs into chunks.
2. Place in a large jar and cover with 2% salt brine.
3. Let it ferment for 4 to 12 days.
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Corn Salsa
1. Add corn kernels to your favourite lacto-fermented salsa recipe.
2. Let it ferment for one week.
Enjoy it at your next taco party!
Ready to enjoy the best hot sauce of your life? Ferment your chili peppers!
During fermentation, chilies lose some of their texture. However, their flavour deepens, and they become ideal for making hot sauces. The acidity of a lacto-fermentation is not as intense as that of a vinegar sauce, and the flavours are more nuanced.
We recommend wearing gloves unless you are adventurous… but avoid rubbing your eyes!
Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe
In a jar, stack chili peppers (of your choice), carrots, a clove of garlic, and half an onion.
1. Cover with 2% salt brine and let it ferment for about 3 weeks.
2. Drain and set aside the brine.
3. Puree the vegetables in a blender.
4. Add brine until desired consistency.
For more details, see our fermented hot sauce recipe.
Fermented Chili Paste Recipe, Sambal Oelek Style
1. In a food processor, puree the chili peppers, garlic, lemon juice, and 2% salt.
2. Transfer to a jar and let it ferment for 7 to 10 days.
Put it on everything, everywhere!
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Jalapeño Slices
1. Cut (with gloves, please) the jalapeños into slices.
2. Stack in a jar with a few cloves of garlic.
3. Cover with 2% salt brine and let it ferment for about a week.
Serve on your next nachos.
Tomatoes are THE vegetable that you always have plenty of. Try to use them up by lacto-fermenting them!
You can lacto-ferment whole tomatoes or cherry tomatoes in brine. However, the results are moderately interesting. Tomatoes contain a lot of water and become very soft during fermentation.
Therefore, let’s opt for lacto-fermented salsa, where tomatoes can shine.
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Tomato Salsa
1. Chop all the ingredients for a traditional salsa and add 2% salt.
2. Place in a jar and let it ferment for a week.
For more details, check out the lacto-fermented tomato salsa recipe.
Recipe for lacto-fermented tomato sauce
- Fill a jar with quartered tomatoes, garlic and basil.
- Cover with a 2% brine and put a weight.
- Let ferment for one week.
- Drain and blend to make a pasta sauce.
For more details, see Lacto-fermented tomato sauce recipe