“I said to the almond tree , friend speak to me of God, and the almond tree blossomed.”
The weather around the globe has been indecisive, but one can tell spring has truly arrived by what’s available in the markets. If you see green almonds in your culinary shopping pursuits, then spring has arrived. But it’s so fleeting and you must catch it while you can, during the months of April , May and June. I found fresh green almonds at Arax, a Middle Eastern grocery in Niles. I had heard of them but never have seen them before. My co-worker told me of eating them when young in Iraq, and not liking the taste sour taste and gel like inside, so spitting them out. I did more inquiry and found in some countries like Iran, Turkey and Lebanon, they are dipped in salt water and eaten perhaps with an apertif . I wanted more from the beautiful green fuzzy fruits, and saw a post where in Greece they pickled them and they call them Tsagala. I love a good pickle, and that’s what I decided to do to preserve them before they get to hard. The pickle is perfect as you eat the green almond whole before they get hard and mature to resemble what most people traditionally think of as almonds. If unpicked the green husk of fresh almonds splits to reveal a more mature nut with a hardened shell . You can read more about green almonds here.
I brought some into work today to show my co-worker who remembered them with distaste from childhood. Ironically at a lunch a week back she was offered some green almonds by another,dipped in salt water and loved it. So naturally she was curious to have my pickled version. She loved them and the mild heat from the Serrano Pepper infusion. She offered some to a Russian coworker who went nuts for them , no pun intended. I have to bring the rest of stash to them to share some more. The Russian, who wasn’t feeling well said it was just what she needed. Trust me she’s not easily impressed. Almonds are magical and blessed. Perhaps there is a reason they mentioned in the Bible on numerous occasions. I was inspired to pickle the almonds from this post, but naturally made it my own. The flavor gets better in the brine over time, but they are delicious even a few days later. Eat them alone, or add to salad ( green, tuna, or chicken) for a crunchy treat with a bite.
- 1 lb of green fresh almonds ( available April, May, and June)
- 3-4 cups white vinegar
- ¾ cups Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 5-7 Serrano Peppers, halved with seeds
- Wash green almonds and pick away leaves or any debris.
- In a pot combine vinegar , salt and peppercorns.
- Bring to a boil and make sure salt is dissolved.
- Pack your almonds into the either two small clean jars or one larger one with garlic cloves and Serrano peppers.
- Pour the hot vinegar salt liquid over the almonds and make sure they are covered with brine.
- Seal the bottle and let cool.
- Store in the refrigerator . Flavor develops more after one or more weeks.
- Almonds can keep in the brine for several months under refrigeration.