heirloom·modern: Snow Almonds

25 Jul

After making Cold Almond soup, we had a lot of almonds left over. Most people see them as the perfect snack food. I am not one of those people (whereas the boy most certainly is). In fact, I don’t like nuts all that much at all.

I’ll eat the odd filbert. (Excuse me, hazelnut. But isn’t it just so much more fun to say filbert?) I’ll eat peanuts, but never peanut butter. (Yes, I know peanuts are legumes). Every now and then, I’ll nibble on a flavored pistachio, but never, ever will I eat brazil nuts, or walnuts, or ugh, cashews. Seriously, I just don’t like nuts.

But these nuts, yes, these I like. In fact, I’ve come to crave them. They’re silky and salty and cold, the perfect snack after a long, hot walk around the city.

The recipe comes from Bert Greene’s Kitchen Bouquets, the same place I got the idea for making Basil scented bevandas. This is one helluva cookbook. Bert, who is my new cooking companion (sorry Nigel) says, “These almonds are most salubrious to the palate even with the frostiest martini a host can provide.” Amen!

Mr. Greene borrowed this recipe from The Art of Turkish Cooking by Neset Eren and so now I’m borrowing it from him and giving it to you as my third installment of heirloom·modern. Bert says, “Although I amended Ms. Eren’s original dictum with a grain or two of salt, the dish is otherwise traditionally Ottoman.” In Turkey, these nuts were served on ice with no additional garnish. Bert, it seems, liked a dusting of fine salt on these, I’m assuming, to help whet the appetite for a second martini. Amen!

It seemed only right to adapt Mr. Greene’s recipe a bit, since he adapted Ms. Eren’s. Since I’m not serving these all at once at a fancy cocktail party on a bed of ice, I have deleted his step of soaking the nuts in unsalted water for one day before serving. Instead they remain happily in my fridge in a nice salty brine which I change every couple of days. They keep getting plumper and plumper and just ever so slightly more salty. But they are constantly delicious! I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we are.

Head below the jump for the recipe for Bert Greene’s delectable Snow Almonds.

heirloom·modern: Snow Almonds

prep time: 2 minutes ~ cooking time: none ~ peeling time: about 15 minutes

  • 1/2 lb un-shelled, un-roasted Almonds
  • Kosher Salt
  • Water

Place the almonds in a plastic lidded bowl. Add about 3 heavy pinches of salt (probably about 2 tablespoons). Cover with cold water. Put in the fridge. Allow to sit for at least 5 fays.

One day before serving (or snacking) pull the almonds out of the fridge and drain. Gently rub the skins off (some will come off easy, others are a wee bit stubborn).

Return to the bowl. Bert says to cover them with plain cold water, we chose to add a few healthy pinches of salt, because, well it’s summer, and we like salty snacks). Cover and return to the fridge for one day.

If you are serving these at a cocktail party, fill a pretty bowl with water and allow to freeze (don’t use anything that’s going to break, maybe metal would work best). To serve, drain thoroughly and place on the ice.

If you’re just going to eat them by the handful, drain and eat. Always return to the fridge covered with salt water. It’ll keep them from molding.



6 Responses to “heirloom·modern: Snow Almonds”

  1. sher July 25, 2006 at 11:21 am #

    That’s so interesting!! I’ve never had these before. But, I must correct that. Thanks. And you don’t have to heat up the oven roasting them. A nice change of pace.

  2. Trish July 26, 2006 at 12:35 am #

    Oh, my, you are my favorite blogger today. I’ve had a CRAVING for almonds. Like you, I’m not the biggest fan of nuts, but almonds I do love, especially when they’re salty. I make mine roasted and sea salted, but seeing as how it’s so blasted hot around here, I’m absolutely going to try your version. Thanks, Ann!!

  3. Julie July 26, 2006 at 1:02 am #

    Silky, salty, and cold sounds pretty good. I need to try this.

  4. ann July 27, 2006 at 11:21 am #

    just keep in mind that you have to let them brine for at least 5 days!
    but, even with that wait, they are SO worth it!

  5. Carianna July 31, 2006 at 6:18 pm #

    Dang! After reading this I am dying to make these – but despite thorough scrounging through all 3 of my freezers there are no almonds to be had. I guess they’ll have to wait until tomorrow – and then until Saturday for a taste test. I can almost taste their briny goodness…

  6. ann August 4, 2006 at 9:23 am #

    Carianna, thanks so much for stopping by, and please let me know how your almonds turn out!

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