You will need:
1 pound very fresh French green beans
(Get the thin, dark green beans that are all straight and parallel in the package - from the PRODUCE section - NOT from Frozen Foods!)
1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1 large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped - or a large handful of dried (fresh is better)
1 - 2 lemons (to taste)
Fill a large stockpot (8 quart) with water and put on to boil. Add a large handful of sea salt to the water and bring it to a good, rolling boil. Add the green beans and blanch for 30-60 seconds or so (to taste - they should be quite crisp). Drain the beans and flush thoroughly with very cold water. Melt butter in the stockpot and add the green beans back to the pot. Toss in the butter until hot. Squeeze lemon on top and toss again. Add the parsley and toss.
NOTE: According to Julia Childs, this is the ONLY way to cook these beans. I've tasted them and I agree. The loads of fresh parsley give them a fresh, sweet taste that is unmatched. If you insist, however, you can toast sliced almonds in the butter while it's melting for "green beans almondine".