This is the first time I’ve ever seen fresh young green almonds sold anywhere. Gotta love Parisian farmer’s markets for their seasonal produce. As I was wrapping up a sale of spring cherries I happened to catch a mound of fuzzy green almonds out of the corner of my eye. I looked up to read the sign in French and sure enough it read amande frais. I shelled over 7 euros for a kilo quickly before the mirage could disappear.
Why the excitement? Because it is very difficult to transport green almonds and they only have about a two week period before they turn from a premature jelly to a hard nut. If you get them at the right stage you can pry open the fuzzy green shell and pick out the creamiest white almond seed. They are sweet and milky. Very mild, but oh so delicate and delicious.
So of course the next question once you actually get them, is what to do with them? I’m sure you could bake them into an almond cream tart or scatter them over a salad, but their flavor is just so delicate that I almost think it’s better to let them stand alone.
I blanched them for ten seconds in boiling water and refreshed under cold water to help remove the skins (like fava beans, you gotta get that skin off because it’s bitter). Then I quickly pan fried them with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. You can toast them too in the oven on a baking sheet to enhance the flavor, but it’s hard to wait that long.