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Filled To The Brim

When I worked in New York, I kept a photograph of sheep on my desk.  It wasn’t a particularly good photograph–just an ordinary shot of a field at dusk, with a few dun-colored ewes standing under a tree.  But there was a certain boldness about the picture, situated as it was on the twenty-second floor of an office building in Times Square.  If I had been able to open my window, I could have taken the sheep from their frame and glued them to a football and tossed them onto the roof of a Broadway theatre, or sent them sailing over an electronic billboard, or dropped them–plunk!–into the hot water basket of a hotdog truck below.  Alas, my window didn’t open, and the sheep’s urban adventures were limited.  They didn’t stray more than six inches from my plastic in-box for years.  Most of the time they were obscured by a tower of books and papers, but sometimes late at night I’d push away the detritus and stare at them, marveling at how serene they looked, how healthy.  Then I’d crack open another Diet Coke, rummage through my trash can for the half granola bar I’d thrown away earlier, and keep working.

I get a lot more sleep these days, but probably not as much as a sheep.  I just read the book Sheepish, a memoir by a woman who started a sheep farm in Missouri in her late thirties.  One of her favorite things about sheep is that they feel no shame in nodding off when they’re tired or snacking when they’re hungry.  As Verlyn Klinkenborg put it, “You are not a worse chicken for snoozing in the early morning, nor an inferior pig for napping the afternoon away in the shade beneath your house. . .I can only wonder what it’s like to be so well rested, to know that the deep pool of sleep within you. . . is filled to the brim.”

Doesn’t that sound delicious, to feel as though the deep pool of sleep within you is filled to the brim?

It’s the end of the week, so you probably don’t feel that way.  Maybe a few pictures of contented farm animals would help?  Here are some photos I took last month on my friend Natasha’s farm.





feeding chickens2


barn cat


yarnOkay, wake up.  I can’t fix our sleep deprivation, but I can fix our snack situation.

broccolini My mom came for a visit last week.  We wound up at an Italian restaurant called Antico Posto twice. 

I ordered the broccolini and arugula salad both times.  It was crunchy and bright, and with hunk of bread and a saucer of olive oil, quite filling.

broccolini saladI went home and tinkered with the ingredients until I had a clean, crisp salad that could just squeak by as the restaurant version.  broccolini salad 2It’s a quick and easy recipe, my friends.  Once you buy the broccolini, you can have it ready in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

(Speaking of lambs, my friend Stephanie is a professional photographer and her pictures of these little farm animals are much better.  You can see them here.)

Broccolini & Arugula Salad {Download & Print Recipe}
by eggton, inspired by my favorite salad at Antico Posto in Oak Brook, Illinois


1/2 lb. bunch of broccolini

4 oz. arugula

1 c. freshly grated Peccorino Romano cheese (grated against the large holes of a box grater)

4 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. honey

1 clove garlic, finely chopped


Rinse the broccolini.

Steam it for 2 minutes, until the raw toughness is taken out of it and it turns a bright green but is still firm when pierced with a fork, and then run the broccolini under very cold water or plunge it into an ice bath so that it stops cooking.

A Note on Steaming: If you don’t have a steaming basket, you can steam the broccolini by bring two inches of water to boil in a large pot and placing a pie tin in the pot so that it floats on the boiling water.  Using a pair of thongs, gently lower the broccolini onto the pie tin.  Replace the lid and wait 2 minutes.  Use the thongs to lift the broccolini off the pie tin.

Pat the cold broccolini dry and Cut each piece into 2-3 segments.  (I like mine slightly larger than bite-sized, just for fun.)  In a large salad bowl, combine the broccolini and the arugula.  Add the Peccorino.  In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and honey, and whisk together with a fork.  Add 1 tsp. of the chopped garlic (less if you aren’t a garlic fan).  Pour a generous glug of the dressing over the salad and toss it.  Taste and use more of the dressing if desired.  You may not need salt because the cheese is salty, but salt it if you wish.

The salad is best after it sits for a few hours (the arugula even holds up pretty well overnight) but it’s also good straight away.


seymour chomping woodSeymour thinks we live on a farm, and that our house is the barn, and that it is acceptable to take a log off the woodpile and eat it.

31 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a lovely post! I watched one of those food shockumentaries a couple nights ago, for research for an article I’m writing, and I’ve been haunted by the images ever since. Your photos of your friend’s farm were a lovely antidote to those images, and the salad looks like just the thing I’ll likely be eating from here on out. Glad I started my morning with this. 🙂

    March 7, 2014
    • Dana, can you post the link to your article for us? I want to read it! What movie did you watch? I kind of love watching food documentaries, even if they’re really disturbing…

      April 3, 2014
      • Of course! Here’s the link! I have the same problem – I love watching food documentaries, but it always ruins everything when I do. (This particular one was called Vegucated.)

        April 3, 2014
  2. “1 c. freshly grated Peccorino Romano cheese (grated against the large holes of a box grater)”

    Now, I have to ask, doesn’t everybody grate their hard cheeses with the large holes of a box grater? Huuumm…..apparently not. But you can bet I’ll follow the instructions TO A TEEEEE! Weeee! Arugula and broccolini!!!!!

    Such cute animals. And that Seymour. Doesn’t miss a beat.

    ArOOOOOO! Stuart

    March 7, 2014
  3. When I was growing up I was in 4h and had a lamb named Sweet Pea. She became so tame, my pet. Every time my parents left the house we brought her in and she watched TV with us. I’ll never forget her. Anyway, your pics are amazing!

    March 7, 2014
  4. That sheep looks so contented and woolly. I would like to give him a nice pat.

    March 7, 2014
  5. DEElighted to see that you read Sheepish! What did you think?! Also, I have a picture of a sheep up on my work desk right now and I feel a sudden urge to email it to you…

    ALSO also, that salad is amazing and though I am much more of a reader of recipes than a maker of them, I am going to make that delicious lemony green beaut. Jealous your mom came to visit…Did she bring a big tote bag?

    March 7, 2014
  6. Your images are always great, what kind of camera do you use?

    March 7, 2014
    • Hi Steve! I have a Nikon D-90 and I usually use a 50 mm lens. Then I edit the photos in Picmonkey (an online tool) because I don’t have (and haven’t learned to use) photoshop or lightroom or any of the other nice photo editing platforms.

      March 7, 2014
  7. Still tired but happily so by looking at these photos of sweetchops animals and a delicious way of preparing broccolini. (Being born in New Zealand we have a natural affinity with sheep, so am totally hearing you.)

    March 7, 2014
  8. Love each and every one of your photos. It would be delightful to visit a farm and have a nap. The nap doesn’t necessarily need to be on a farm. I could go for one right now :). The salad sounds and looks like something I need to add to my repertoire!

    March 7, 2014
  9. i wish that I could just nod off at the drop of a hat. Loved the farm pictures. A girl from Brooklyn doesn’t get to see these sights very often

    March 7, 2014
  10. Those animals are so cute! but I have to admit my preferred one is the black pig… beautiful and delicate post, I’ve really appreciated it… broccolini included!

    March 7, 2014
  11. Obviously, Seymour is not an arugula and broccoli fan.
    I love the idea of a deep pool of sleep within. My sleep is rarely more than a puddle that my bipolar caravan splashes through, but every once in a while I get a deeper night. It’s shocking.

    March 8, 2014
  12. Those animals are so sweet!! Such great photos.
    And that arugula broccoli salad looks AMAZING.

    March 8, 2014
  13. Ginger Cobl #

    Beautiful post dear friend. The photos are wonderful!

    March 8, 2014
  14. As a big fan of broccolini and contented farm animals, I thank you!

    March 8, 2014
  15. Okay. Firstly, the goat with the wild blue eyes is a little scary. And I am not usually intimidated by farm animals. Unless you count geese, which bite. That broccolini salad, on the other hand, is gorgeous.

    March 10, 2014
  16. What is it about farm animal pics that I love SO much?! We have a little farm in our neighborhood, and we love taking walks over in the summer to say hello to the goats and chickens. Also, I’m really mad that I worked in Oak Brook for years and never made it to Antico Posto… apparently I was missing out and had no idea. Boo.

    March 11, 2014
  17. What I would give to feel filled to the brim with sleep. All of those cute farm animals have me wanting to visit a farm. Nothing like a little fiber for Seymour. This salad looks so fresh and vibrant.

    March 11, 2014
  18. J #

    I think you may have mixed up “steaming” and steaming. Unless broccolini steaming actually does call for one to use “thongs”? 😉

    March 12, 2014
    • HA! You are so right. That’s hilarious.

      March 12, 2014
      • J #

        What happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen… 😉

        March 12, 2014
  19. so i can’t decide if i want to look at that gloriously fluffy-fat sheep more, or the salad more. because they both look like things i want to have in front of me right now. sheep, salad. sheep, salad: difficult decisions. both, i say.

    March 13, 2014
  20. jenny_o #

    Is this the same friend whose goat kids (I think) required you to make emergency coats earlier in the season? Wonderful pictures, every one.

    March 17, 2014
    • Yes! It is, Jenny! She got a ram last year, and now she thinks the sheep are pregnant (but she’s not sure.) She’s reading up on what to do in the event her suspicions are correct. . .

      March 18, 2014
      • jenny_o #

        Wonderful! I thought the sheep looked extra fluffy 🙂

        March 20, 2014
  21. Wooly ship! So cute! 🙂 the salad looks healthy and tasty!

    March 19, 2014
  22. I need a friend with a farm. The End.

    March 20, 2014
  23. The trouble with farms is that it greatly interferes with your chance of being filled to the brim with sleep. Our five acres only has 2 horses, 5 dogs, 14 chickens and one barn cat and I never get to sleep 🙂 Our neighbors have cows and goats and those suckers are noisy! The goats are so cute but they frequently sound like they are being murdered – that is apparently the normal noise they make — freaked us out when we first moved in LOL

    March 31, 2014
  24. Amy #

    Oh to be a sheep… Wow, that one in the first pic is huge! BUt he def looks well-rested.
    Mmm, this salad sounds delicious! I’ve been cooking a ton of both Broccoli Rabe and Broccolini. They’re just so yummy. I love that this has a simple dressing on it. I never think to do anything besides roasting….

    March 31, 2014

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