5 Ingredients or Fewer

Fresh Almond Salad

May  8, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4 as a side
Author Notes

Have you ever had a fresh almond? They are elusive, available only for a few short weeks in the spring. I first tried them at Castagna in Portland, OR but had never seen them sold anywhere. In Israel, you don't have to search out fresh almonds - when they're in season, you know. At the shuk, or outdoor market, they are glorious and in abundance.

The outside is pale green and fuzzy like a peach (they are actually related!), but surprisingly crunchy to bite into. Within the shell, only a hint of the almond that is to come is visible. The taste is pure freshness, the essence of springtime in one small package. My husband put it best when he apprehensively tried a fresh almond – also known as green almonds – and reported back, “tastes very green.”

So, when preparing fresh almonds it’s important not to overwhelm this fresh, clean flavor. Lemon, used in moderation, is a lovely complement that brightens the almond’s flavor. I tried adding Parmesan to one version and found that it totally overpowered the delicate flavor. Here, the simplest preparation is the best. This is a great side to act as a foil against a heavy main (it was the perfect palate cleanser and accompaniment for homemade macaroni and cheese). —kmartinelli

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 pound fresh almonds (aka green almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste and prevent discoloration
  • Freshly ground sea salt
  1. Prepare a bowl of water and add the juice of half a lemon. Thinly slice the green almonds, adding them to the water as you go to prevent discoloration.
  2. Strain the almonds and pat dry. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  3. Toss with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and season with sea salt. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if necessary.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kaitlin Ballesteros
    Kaitlin Ballesteros
  • fo
  • Midge
  • BlueKaleRoad
  • hardlikearmour
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.

11 Reviews

Kaitlin B. May 6, 2014
I just harvested a bunch of green almonds from neighborhood street trees after seeing them in a local Persian market. I gave them all to an Iranian neighbor but will keep some for myself next time!
fo June 29, 2011
si facile! j'aime beaucoup!
kmartinelli June 29, 2011
merci! :-)
Midge May 9, 2011
I just saw these at a market last week! Now I know what to do with them - thanks!
kmartinelli May 9, 2011
Oh how lucky you have fresh almonds! Maybe they are becoming more popular. Enjoy!
BlueKaleRoad May 9, 2011
I just saw green almonds at a Middle Eastern market near us and was wondering how to use them...now I know! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
kmartinelli May 9, 2011
So cool! Hope you enjoy! This salad is so refreshing and so simple.
hardlikearmour May 8, 2011
Wow, how cool! When did you eat at Castagna??
kmartinelli May 8, 2011
I was there a little over a year ago (it feels like yesterday) to attend the IACP conference and pack in as many restaurants as I could. Castagna was outstanding! So much good food in Portland!
drbabs May 8, 2011
You introduce us to such interesting food. Thank you!
kmartinelli May 8, 2011
Aw thanks drbabs! I was so excited to come across these at the market.