Adding lemon juice and water to the browned butter mixture creates a lovely, glossy sauce that coats the beans beautifully. The overall impression is that there’s far more butter than is actually there. You can easily get a head start by completing step 1 up to two days ahead; then the recipe can come together in the last few minutes before the feast.
How to Make It
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add green beans; cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain beans; plunge into a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans, and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Wipe Dutch oven clean; add butter and oil, and cook over medium-low until butter is melted. Add almonds, and cook, stirring constantly, until butter has browned and almonds are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened slightly and has a glossy sheen. (Add up to 1 more tablespoon water if sauce is too thick.) Stir in beans, salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium; cook, tossing occasionally, until beans are hot and coated with sauce and almonds, 4 to 5 more minutes.