This Sunday’s Eggs will be Florentine | Recipe

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on my instagram a picture of our sunday morning eggs florentine and a few of you asked me for the recipe. So here it is ! Eggs florentine are actually a variation of eggs benedict. The dish consists of a bread base, then spinach (eggs florentine) or ham/bacon (eggs benedict) or salmon (eggs royale), on top of which is placed a poached egg and everything is then covered in hollandaise sauce.

Little disclaimer, this isn’t a particularly easy recipe, but the result makes it worth the hassle. The main difficulties are the hollandaise sauce and having everything ready and hot at the same time.

However we’ve been doing this recipe for a few months now and I have a few tips that make it slightly easier. Though if you can find someone willing to help, it’s much easier to do this with someone than by yourself.

The first really important step with this recipe is to make sure that you have everything ready before you start because once you get started you don’t really have any time to get things ready.

The following list is roughly what you need to make the dish for two people, each person having 1-2 egg(s).

Material1 pan for the spinach, 1 pan (or a toaster) for the bread, 1 saucepan of boiling water for the eggs, 1 bowl and 1 saucepan for the bain-marie/water-bath for the hollandaise sauce, and while you’re at it, put your plates in the oven or microwave to warm up.

Ingredients : fresh washed spinach (between 100-400g/person depending on your appetite and how healthy you want the dish to be) some type of bread (rolls, crumpets, english muffins, toast, etc)  eggs (however many you want for the dish +1 egg yolk for the sauce) melted butter (between 50-100g depending on how much sauce you want in an easy-pour container) seasoning for the sauce and spinach (salt, pepper, nutmeg, paprika, as you wish) a little white vinegar or lemon juice (for the sauce

One more thing before you start, I’m not very precise when I cook, I try and adapt as I go along so the information won’t be super precise. If you want a very precise recipe, you’re probably better off googling “eggs florentine”. I’ll offer you to follow your instinct, your taste and my tips.

The first step once everything is ready is to start the hollandaise sauce. It’s the most complicated part of the dish, the one that’s most likely to go wrong. As the sauce doesn’t like to wait before being eaten (it tends to split), I start it, then I make everything else, and finish the sauce when everything else is almost done. That way it’s less likely to split (still happens sometimes though.)

To start the sauce, place the egg yolk in the bowl (not in the hot water yet) with a tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice and a little bit of salt (we’ll adjust the seasoning at the end.)

And then there’s a bit of muscle work. You’ll have to beat the egg yolk until it becomes white and fluffy, and doubles in volume. You’re trying to go from the picture above to the picture below.

Once that’s ready we can move on to the next step.

My next step is the spinach because I find that they don’t mind waiting in the pan if they’re ready before everything else. If you lower the heat they’re quite happy to stay there, they won’t burn or split.

I put a little bit of butter or olive oil in the pan (for the taste as we won’t use the juice in the end anyway) I put the heat on 7 (out 0 9) and toss the spinach in the pan. At first you can’t really do anything to them, but as they warm up they start to reduce and then you can season and turn them around.

While the spinach are cooking, I put the bread in the other pan. That’s a step that could be made considerably easier by using a toaster. We’re used to doing it in the pan with a little olive oil (for the taste) but you have to be vigilant because they tend to burn easily. So if you prefer you can wait until the eggs are almost ready and put the bread in a toaster instead where it’s less likely to burn.

When everything is starting to cook, I put the eggs in the boiling water. And that’s where we cheat. After a few unsuccessful tries, we’ve given up trying to make poached eggs. Instead we do a kind of soft boiled egg (4 min 30 seconds if you put them straight from the fridge into boiling water) and we peel them. That being said peeling a soft boiled egg isn’t easier so if you can make poached eggs, do that instead.

We can’t so we practised peeling soft-boiled eggs. The longer you cook them, the easier it’ll be to peel them but the less runny the yolk will be.

It’s when everything is about to be done that you can finish the hollandaise sauce. When there’s about 3 minutes left on the eggs.

Make sure the water in your bain-marie is hot but not boiling (otherwise your egg will scramble) then place your bowl on top of the sauce pan. The process to make a hollandaise sauce is very similar to that to make a mayonnaise, while you whisk the mixture constantly you slowly pour the butter in the egg. As you whisk the mixture it should thicken.

If it splits, you can save it with cold water by separating the liquid from the solid. You put the solid part of your split sauce in a new bowl with the cold water, beat it, place it back in the bain-marie and slowly drizzle the liquid part in while whisking. I found that it’s almost easier to save a hollandaise sauce than to make it. My rescued ones usually turn out better.

Once you’ve added all the melted butter (or rescued it) you can finish seasoning it (salt, pepper, spices) and maybe add a little lemon juice or vinegar if you want it to have a little more kick. But make sure you’re almost always stirring as you season otherwise it’s likely to split. Once it’s ready, take the bowl out of the bain-marie because if you let it sit atop the hot water it will split.

I hope you didn’t forget to take the eggs out of the water …

And now’s the time to stress a little bit. At this point everything should be ready, warm, not burnt, not split, and you’ll have to put it all in a plate before something get cold, burnt or split.

You start with the bread, then the spinach, then the soft-boiled (or poached) egg that you’ll have quickly peeled (and probably burnt your fingers while doing so.)

That’s when it helps to have someone else around !

The very last step is the sauce. One spoonful, or 15, it’s up to you, your diet, your taste, etc. On our household the moto’s “there’s no such thing as too much sauce”.

And at this point, if everything’s still warm and not split, have a seat and enjoy the result of your hard work. (If possible without thinking about the pile of dishes that awaits in the kitchen. Eheh)

And as you might be able to tell, soft-boiled eggs look just as good as poached eggs, the yolk is just as runny. Yum !

I hope that I didn’t scare you with my recipe, because it’s totally worth it ! But that way there’s no lying and you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

Will you try it ?