To blanch beans, fill a large stock pot half-way with water. Leave enough room for the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat; add beans and return to a full boil. Boil beans 5 minutes. Drain beans and immediately place in large bowl filled with ice water. Let sit 3 minutes; drain thoroughly. Pat dry with paper toweling. Set aside.
Whisk together vinegar, sugar, onion, garlic, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk in 4 tablespoons oil slowly; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet. Add beans and sauté 3 three minutes. Add vinaigrette; stir beans to coat and sauté an additonal 3 minutes or until heated through. Transfer beans to serving platter; top with almonds and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Both the vinaigrette and blanched green beans can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. Frozen Green Bean Variation: Skip the blanching step and sauté frozen beans in large covered skillet for 3 to 4 minutes. Follow remaining directions.