This is a savory relish that is reminiscent of sour pickle relish without the vinegar flavor. You can make this ferment spicy or mild, depending on what peppers you choose to use. The cloves are the secret ingredient in this fermented summer squash relish; they add a rich spiced flavor that mellows the ferment.     Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables by Angi Schneider, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Dennis Burnett

Fermented Squash Relish [Vegan]

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  • 3/4 lb (340 g) diced zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) diced sweet or hot peppers, seeds removed from hot peppers if you prefer milder flavor
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) chopped onion
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon (18 g) salt
  • 2 cups (474 ml) filtered water


  1. Put the zucchini, peppers and onion in a 1-quart (1-L) jar. Add the peppercorns, mustard seed and cloves to the jar.
  2. Mix the salt into the water to make the brine. Fill the jar with the saltwater brine, making sure to cover the vegetables but leaving room for the weight and expansion.
  3. Put a weight in the jar to keep everything under the brine and top the jar with a fermentation lid. Put the jar on a plate or small cookie sheet to catch any overflow.
  4. Set the jar in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, for 8 to 14 days. You can taste the relish any time after 8 days. If it needs to ferment longer, replace the weight and fermentation lid and ferment for a few more days.
  5. When the relish is to your liking, replace the weight and fermentation lid with a plastic storage lid. Store the relish in the refrigerator for up to 9 months.


* In the photo, the squash relish is in the jar on the right.


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