When simply flavored with a touch of butter and lemon, fresh vegetables can really shine.
Bring 2 inches salted water to a boil in a wide (10-inch) saucepan or skillet.
Place asparagus in saucepan; cook until just tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
Return asparagus to pan; toss with butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
To trim asparagus, snap off the tough ends with your hands; the stalks will automatically break at the tender part.