Steam the asparagus spears over 1-2 inches of water, about 2 minutes, or until the spears have softened but still snap. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and then to paper towels to pat dry.
In a large skillet set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the almonds and shake the pan, about 2-3 minutes, or until the butter is dark gold and has a nutty aroma. The almonds should not be darker than pale gold.
Add the asparagus to the skillet and cover. Shake the pan so the butter coats the asparagus. Cook, shaking the pan continuously, about 2-4 minutes, or until the almonds and butter darken in color one shade to a light brown and the asparagus is cooked to desired tenderness. If the asparagus or almonds are darkening too quickly, reduce the heat to low.
Sprinkle the asparagus with lemon juice, parsley, tarragon, chives and pepper and shake the pan until evenly distributed.
Display the asparagus on a small platter and spoon the butter, herbs and almonds over the top. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and flake sea salt. Serve immediately.
Use fresh asparagus that is firm to the touch.
Remove the woody ends of the asparagus before you steam them.
Take care not to overcook the asparagus when you steam them, they should still be firm as you will continue to cook them in the skillet.
Use fresh herbs and lemon juice for the most vibrant flavors.