Heat an 8 to 9-inch pot 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 pot 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, parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons butter, and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
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