Summer Greens Sauerkraut is the second in our Seasonal Greens series. Like its earlier and later counterparts, Spring Greens and Fall Greens sauerkrauts, we make use of the abundant wild and cultivated edibles in our neighborhood during the summer. Featuring garlic scapes, or the flowering portion of hardneck garlic, nettles—of course, we can’t get enough of these- and lambsquarters, this mild and tasty kraut is another nutritional powerhouse. What’s up with lambsquarters, you might ask? Click on the More Kraut Info tab below to learn more.
Wonderful for summer cookouts, or cool salad eat ins during our increasingly hot summer days, enjoy some Summer Greens Sauerkraut as you savor other wonderful summer flavors from Vermont.
Servings in a pint jar: 15,
Servings in a quart jar: 31,
Servings in a half-gallon jar: 67,
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp (29g),
Amount Per Serving: Calories 10, Total Fat 0g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 190mg (8% DV), Total Carbohydrates 2g (1% DV), Dietary Fiber <1g (3%), Total Sugars 1g (Including 0g Added Sugars, 0% DV), Protein 0g, Vitamin D (0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Potassium (2% DV).
Lambsquarters are a weed. What?!? Welp, nettles and dandelions are too, and they are featured in this kraut—though not dandelions— and the other two in the Seasonal Greens Series. And honestly, one woman’s weed is the base of another woman’s salad, so part of this is all semantics.
Back to lambsquarters. They grow abundantly in our neighborhood, starting in the early summer. They are easy to recognize, high in Vitamin A, and delicious. Like spinach and kale, they do contain oxalic acid, and, like spinach and kale, make up for that shortcoming with their nutritional contribution and wonderful flavor. Before I understood their awesomeness, I would pull them and put them on the compost or feed them to our chickens, who were very happy about that. And even though we use a dash of them in the Summer Greens Sauerkraut, the chickens still get plenty, and they thank us with their healthful and flavorful eggs.
You may be asking yourself: how does one fermentista end up creating a whole seasonal series with weeds in it? Apparently, I come from a wonderful tradition of weed eaters, and you can read a story about that below.
My grandmother, who I and most other people called Nana, was the daughter of immigrant parents from Italy. She and I were very close until she died at 95. I loved to spend time with her and listen to the stories of her childhood and young adult life.
Her mother spoke very little English, and her father died in the Influenza Pandemic in 1918 when Nana was only 5. His death almost immediately transformed their family from one with comfortable means, derived from his work as an architect and his partnership in a macaroni factory, to one in poverty. My great-grandfather’s business partner took advantage of my great-grandmother’s, or “Mariuch’s,” lack of business knowledge and challenges with communication and basically stole her share in the successful business. Thus they were poor. Really poor.
And they were not alone in that. Nana recalls neighbors gathering at Mariuch’s house for a meal. Nothing extravagant. Potatoes, onions, garlic, gardened and gathered greens in a broth with maybe a bit of meat, and polenta or bread on the side. This was a spring favorite, and the adults would sit around the table, talking loudly and animatedly as they ate with their hands. And their joy, their satisfaction, in the meal was obvious as they mopped broth from their chins, smacked their lips and sat back with their hands resting on their bellies. Yes. The political and economic forces of the time may have relegated them all to poverty, but at this meal in particular, Nana remembered how they lapped up life, language, friendship and familiarity.
Though she and the other children were excluded from enjoying this particular dish with the adults, Nana remembers thinking how delicious it must be and that she couldn’t wait to be grown-up enough to enjoy it with them. And she did. She and my grandfather, or Pepe, married young, had several children and scraped by for most of their adult life. Pepe held two or three jobs to keep the lights on and Nana was a phenomenal cook, something she learned as the only girl in a sea of brothers in her single mother’s house. Even after my dad, aunts and uncles were all grown and on her own, Nana kept a huge garden and maintained her love of gathering wild edibles from the lawns and woods around her. And she fostered the tradition of gathering the family around the New Year and midsummer for feasting, familiarity and love.
I pray you find yourself rich in those as well. Feasting, friendship and love are important medicine for this challenging time.