How to Make It
In a large deep skillet of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and cut them into 2-inch lengths.
Dry the skillet over moderate heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until browned but barely cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops to a plate.
Add the water and lemon juice to the skillet and simmer over moderate heat until reduced by one-third, about 3 minutes. Carefully add any accumulated scallops juices. Add the asparagus and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add chives to the skillet and swirl in the butter until the sauce is smooth and creamy; season the sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer the scallops to plates. Spoon the sauce over the scallops and serve.