Steamed Asparagus



  1. Trim the bottoms from the asparagus and peel them if they are thick.
  2. Stand the stalks upright in a stockpot, letting them lean against the sides at an angle.
  3. Add enough water to come 1 inch up the sides of the pan and a large pinch of salt.
  4. Cover and put the pot over high heat.
  5. When the water boils, cook the asparagus for 2 minutes, then check them for the first time.
  6. They are ready when it is easy to pierce the thick part of the stalks; this takes anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick the asparagus are.
  7. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter with tongs, shaking them over the pot to remove excess water.
  8. Smear them with the butter and sprinkle with lemon juice, more salt, and some pepper, then serve.