Southern chef extraordinaire Edna Lewis taught us this recipe, which she learned from her mother. Cooking asparagus in the skillet concentrates its flavor rather than diluting it, as steaming or boiling can.
2 lbs. asparagus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Rinse asparagus in cold water and trim off tough ends of stalks. Put butter in a heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid and heat until butter is foaming. Lay asparagus in the pan and shake from side to side to coat asparagus gently with melted butter; cover tightly and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Check asparagus and turn as needed to make sure the stalks cook evenly and don't burn.
2. Continue cooking 5 minutes longer, or until asparagus is tender but still crisp and bright green. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.