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Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine
This variation on the classic eggs Benedict uses spinach instead of Canadian bacon. The hollandaise sauce is prepared over a double boiler, ensuring it cooks slowly and gently. Be sure the water in the saucepan is simmering, not boiling, and do not allow the bowl containing the sauce to touch the water.

Ingredients:

For the hollandaise sauce:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon and lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 pinches of freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted
  • 3 Tbs. softened unsalted butter
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • 8 eggs

Directions:

To make the sauce, in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, combine the egg yolks, lemon and lime juice and water and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, then continue whisking for about 1 minute more, but remove the bowl from over the pan as soon as the mixture thickens. Add the salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper. Using a stick blender with the aerator attachment, blend the mixture while slowly pouring in the melted butter in a thin stream until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover and keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.

Lightly spread the cut side of each muffin with 1 tsp. of the softened butter.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 1 tsp. butter. Add the spinach and cook until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. You should have about 1 1/2 cups cooked spinach. Keep warm.

Fill an egg-poaching pan with 1/2 inch water, set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lightly coat the poaching cups with nonstick cooking spray and crack an egg into each cup. Cover and cook until the whites are firm and the yolks are glazed over but still soft, about 3 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer the eggs to a warmed plate and repeat with the remaining eggs.

Place 2 muffin halves on each of 4 warmed individual plates. Top each muffin half with some of the spinach, an egg and some of the sauce. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Brunch Entertaining, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1999).