Eggs Florentine

First off, Happy Mother’s Day!

Second off, best brunch food after a walk through Brookdale Park and a quick trip to Shop Rite to get some eggs (among other things… since we never leave with only the items we came for)?

Creamy, lemony hollandaise sauce dripping down the sides of poached eggs, a bed of sauteed spinach, and a crispy toasted English muffin. Yum.

Eggs Florentine (to serve four)

Adapted from this recipe

3 1/2 oz butter (a little over 3/4 of a stick), cold, cut into cubes

2 egg yolks

1/2 tablespoon cold water

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice


4 English muffins, split in half horizontally, toasted

4 large handfuls spinach

4 free-range eggs

Melt 2 1/2 oz of butter (eyeball it-ish or weigh) in a small saucepa, melt it slowly, and then remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer, and place a bowl on top (don’t let the bowl touch the simmering water) and beat the two egg yolks in this bowl until pale and thickened. Add water, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and black pepper and continue to beat for another 30 seconds. Mine scrambled a tiny bit but it was okay–just keep whisking and it should turn out fine.

Add half of the remaining (non-melted) butter to the egg mixture and stir for 1-2 minutes until the butter melts and thickens the mixture. Remove from heat and beat in the rest of the butter.

Slowly pour in the melted butter while whisking, until the sauce thickens.  Taste and season with lemon juice, pepper, and salt as needed. Keep the hollandaise warm by letting the bowl sit in lukewarm water.

Bring a large, shallow pot/pan of water to boil (to poach the eggs). When it hits a simmer, add a capful of white vinegar. This keeps the egg white from spreading too much. Add your eggs carefully one by one, dropping them in close to the surface of the boiling water. Let them cook for 3-6 minutes. Drain them on paper towels.

Meanwhile, in the empty pan you used to melt the butter, add the spinach 1 handful at a time and keep a lid on it to let the steam wilt the spinach. It’s amazing how much the spinach shrinks! The butter helps the spinach not stick and gives it some flavor. Add a bit of lemon juice if you desire.

Halve and toast the English muffins. Add some spinach, a poached egg, and drench drizzle hollandaise (mine came out kind of thick; not sure what I did wrong). Serve with pineapple, or strawberries, or a small garden salad!

This came out really yummy, a perfect Mother’s Day treat. The hollandaise was lemony and bright, and my dad even scraped out the bowl and ate it with a spoon. (Not telling him just how much butter went into that.) I love getting eggs Benedict at restaurants, but don’t think I’ve ever tried to recreate it at home.

I love eggs Benedict with spinach, and once I had it with lump crab meat at the Mad Hatter in Cape May–that was amazing. There’s something about breaking open the yolk, watching it slowly make its way down the egg and allowing the bread to sop it up that makes eating eggs Benedict as entertaining as it is delicious!

It may not seem like a lot to eat, but this meal is actually very filling. So delicious. And I learned to make a hollandaise sauce (for the most part. I could use some more practice!) and how not to poach eggs (uh… the liquid needs to cover the top of the eggs… hence the yolk visuals in these pictures. The lemon in the sauce adds a nice brightness to the sheer richness of the butter and yolk, contrasted with the crunchy-yet-chewy muffins and the tannin bitterness of the spinach.

My brother tried it and ate the whole thing, even after he thought the eggs would be scrambled (not a fan of the runny yolk) and is not usually into eating what I make. An accomplishment in itself!


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