Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée

Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée Alinea Recipe

In this relatively easy recipe from Alinea, green almonds are embedded in cucumber gelée and topped with sweet, spicy, sour, and salty elements. The crisp almonds, soft jelly, and four contrasting ingredients fully engage the senses and palate like nothing else.

Green almonds have an edible crunchy shell with a pronounced sourness, so add a pinch of salt and you can make a light snack out of it. It has a fuzzy exterior that feels and looks like the surface of a tennis ball. Try your luck finding green almonds in Middle Eastern groceries around springtime.

We’ll need the young almonds found within. The nuts, at this point in its prepubescent life, will have a thin outer layer encapsulating a semi-liquid center. It has a grassy taste and refreshing quality to it.

I made the following substitutions for the sweet, spicy, sour, and salty elements (this should give you an idea of how confused eclectic my pantry is):

  • Sweet: Thai coconut sugar instead of crushed sugar cubes
  • Spicy: Basque espelette pepper instead of cayenne pepper
  • Sour: Indian amchur powder (from unripe mangoes) instead of citric acid
  • Salty: Filipino rock salt instead of Bali sea salt

recipe adapted from Grant Achatz’s Alinea
Food in Colors: Red and Green hosted by Neha

Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée
Sweet, Hot, Sour, Salt

makes 8 small bites

Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée Alinea Sliced
Green almond cross section.

Ingredients:

5 gelatin sheets
2 English cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and seeded
8 grams / 0.3 oz granulated sugar
5 grams / 0.2 oz kosher salt
8 green almonds, shelled

Notes:

  • I used 2 packets of Knox powdered gelatin (14 grams / 0.5 oz) instead of the gelatin sheets.
  • To shell the green almonds, use a paring knife. Cut a shallow slit on the seam that runs down the length of the almonds. The shell can be easily pried open with your fingertips.

Directions:

  1. Line a 9- x 13-inch pan with plastic wrap. Reduce the area of the pan to 9 x 4 inches by lifting up one end of the plastic wrap. Place some sort of straight-edged object adjacent to the plastic wrap to make a barrier (I used an 8-inch springform cake pan lined with plastic wrap).
  2. Juice the cucumbers in a juicer and strain using a fine mesh strainer (I used a blender and strained the resulting puree several times). Weigh 70 grams / 1.8 oz of juice and reserve the rest in a small bowl.
  3. If using the gelatin sheets, immerse in iced water for about 5 minutes or until pliable. Squeeze excess water out of the sheets. Heat the measure of cucumber juice over the lowest heat setting and whisk in the gelatin sheets until fully dissolved.
    If using the powdered gelatin, add to the measure of cucumber juice and stir until moistened to bloom. Heat the bloomed gelatin over low heat until liquefied.
  4. Whisk the sugar, salt, and gelatin into the reserved cucumber juice until fully dissolved. Pour into the container lined with plastic wrap.
  5. Evenly set the shelled green almonds in the gelatin.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until the gelatin is completely set.
  7. Cut the cucumber gelée into 1-inch squares, centering the almonds (I used a 1.25-inch round cookie cutter). Chill until ready to serve.

Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée Alinea Elements

To Assemble and Serve:

Gather the sweet, spicy, sour and salty elements of your choice. See the list above for the original ingredients. Add a pinch of the ingredients to each of the opposing corners and serve immediately.

Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée Alinea Rounds
Curiously addictive.

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61 Responses to “Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée”

  1. Manggy says:

    Yeah, a lot easier than I was expecting from that book :) Very elegant!

  2. snooky doodle says:

    oh really interesting. these look so nice and colourful. I ve never heard of green almonds . you always surprise me with something new :)

  3. amy says:

    wow! green almonds?!that’s new. it looks fantastic anyway your cucumber gelee:)

  4. Catofstripes says:

    Thanks for that, just begging to be veganised!

  5. Soma says:

    This is just amazing! I have never seen green almonds & this entire thing is such an unique & elegant bite.

  6. lisaiscooking says:

    They’re very pretty! And, it sounds like an interesting flavor combination. Great nibbles for cocktails.

  7. Leela says:

    *Love* green almonds. I snack on them like I do popcorn.
    These are so pretty , Jude.

  8. Caitlin says:

    Curious, definitely. Since I don’t have any of those ingredients (okay, maybe the salt and the gelatin), I probably will never make these. But they do look interesting.

  9. noble pig says:

    Okay, wow, this is very unique and beautiful!

  10. Christina@DeglazeMe says:

    Jude, these are simply BEAUTIFUL. Truly, you outdid yourself!

  11. Joelen says:

    Amazing… this came out so beautifully and I love the substitutions you made!

  12. Rosa says:

    Wow, that jelly is very originale! I love the pretty presentation! Awesome!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  13. Lori says:

    Very neatly crafted. I love this, I sure would like to try the almond and your gelee creation.

  14. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    I wish I had some of your confused and eclectic pantry stuffing ;o)
    This seems wonderfully unique.

  15. erin @ dessert girl says:

    I’m a huge almond fan, but I’ve never heard of green almonds. I can’t wait to try them!

  16. Mary says:

    Absolutely fascinating. I so wish I had the ambition to try this because I am truly fascinated by all the flavor and texture combinations. Great post!

  17. sweetbird says:

    Look at you with your Alinea bad-assery.

    I bow to you, kind sir.

  18. Elissa says:

    Wow. This looks so stunning and unusual… It’s beautiful! What do you eat these with?

  19. ila says:

    WOW. that’s beautiful! they seem soooo itty bitty after all that work though.

  20. Irene says:

    Beautiful photo of the almonds! I have to say that I enjoy your “green” photographs the most (maybe b/c I’ve never been able to photograph anything green in any sort of a respectable manner). :)

  21. Jaime says:

    Following you on twitter now. Yay!!
    Very cool photograph, Jude, and such a unique recipe. Well done.

  22. Tangled Noodle says:

    Awesome. The top photo is lovely and it’s deceptively simple. As usual, I will leave it to your much greater skill and just sit back and admire this amazing creation!

  23. Carolyn Jung says:

    What timing! I just had green almonds for the first time at a new Yountville restaurant called Bardessono in the resort of the same name. This is a new ingredient to me. The texture was really intriguing — almost soft and watery like the flesh of a grape. The dish was green almond gazpacho with spot prawns. And it was fabulous.

  24. Y says:

    So pretty and delicate, Jude! I also love that photo of the green almonds. Gorgeous!

  25. kat says:

    Wow, those are so beautiful!

  26. We Are Never Full says:

    i can’t believe how pretty these are. like little works of art. i don’t even know if i could eat them…cause they are so lovely.

  27. Sean says:

    I’ve never had green almonds but these looks so fancy and delicious! I love how you can create variations and choose the flavorings based on preference

  28. linda says:

    How pretty looking, like jewels!

  29. Dragon says:

    I bet these are addictive! You are so adventurous. :)

  30. Natashya says:

    You are a rock star Jude!
    I was just watching At The Table With.. with Grant Ashatz(sp?) today.
    What a great project, I have never seen green almonds before, and thanks for the tip about subbing amchur powder for citric acid, I might try that with my dehydrated fruit this year.
    (By the way, you asked me how I liked the French bread made in a food processor – well, homemade is always good, and I like the dill but, as you can imagine, it lacks the complexity of a preferment or delayed fermentation. It is a fun one day bread)

  31. clumbsycookie says:

    This is just so beabutiful! I adore the first picture!

  32. clumbsycookie says:

    I meant beautiful, lol!

  33. Mara @ What's For Dinner? says:

    thanks for stopping by my blog!! I’m beyond impressed that you made something from the Alinea book… I’m far too intimidated by Grant’s nutty and cool recipes!

  34. Marija says:

    This is amazing! Great job!

  35. Sara says:

    My produce market actually sells green almonds, but I never knew what to do with them. Thanks for the idea!

  36. Elizabeth says:

    Those are delightful! keep doing the alinea posts! love em

  37. Olga says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen green almonds. This looks magical!

  38. Haley W. says:

    I feel as though I must have this. The hunt for green almonds begins now!

  39. Carolyn – Now that you mentioned it, the green almonds are a lot like grapes on the inside. I was thinking aloe vera all along.

    Natashya – Amchur is sour, but I don’t know it’s as acidic as citric acid. Hope that works, though!

    Elissa – Nothing specific really. Just starter to go with whatever’s for dinner.

  40. Nikki says:

    I cant believe how elegant these simple itty bitty things look! This is so artsy, i am sooo gonna try them!

  41. katiek @ kitchensidecar says:

    Wow! first time at the site and I am so glad I came! Love the green almonds. I had a tree in my backyard growing up and I always picked them, nut know ign exactly waht to do with them. They are very tender and I nibbled at them, doubting how edible they were.

    Brilliant play on colour and elicate flavors.

  42. neha says:

    Looking so lovely, n delicate…, like jewels…, Never seen green almonds before, shall look for it..

  43. Aparna says:

    Your little almond rounds look like beautifully crafted jewels, Jude. You never cease to amaze me. A lot of Indian dishes are a combination of sweet, spice, tang and salt so I’m sure this was pretty good.
    I have an almond tree right outside my balcony which is noe laden with green almonds. :)

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  46. Sweatha says:

    Loe the dish.Very innovative.Never ever knew about green almonds

  47. sunshinemom says:

    Thanks for introducing me to green almonds! Your pictures make me want to grab that fork and dig in!!

  48. latifa says:

    i know the green almonds but the recipe is……..ART!

  49. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver says:

    These are the prettiest things ever. And, I guess I’m missing out as I’ve never seen (nor tasted, obviously) green almonds!

  50. Martin Lindsay says:

    That’s the best presentation ever! And I love your choices for the sweet, spicy, sour, and salty elements…

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