1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 pound green beans, stem ends trimmed
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons butter, plus 2 teaspoons (or substitute olive oil)
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat a deep skillet over medium-low heat. When it is hot, add almonds and toast, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove almonds from skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet add green beans, 1/3 cup water, 2 teaspoons butter, and salt, and cover. Increase heat to medium-high, cover and cook until steam escapes around lid. Set timer for 5 minutes and continue to steam until beans are brightly colored and just tender. Remove lid and continue to cook until water evaporates and beans start to saute, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Turn off heat, and stir in toasted almonds, lemon zest, remaining 2 teaspoons butter, and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.