Eggs florentine are the perfect weekend breakfast. An indulgent treat, and so much better with home-made hollandaise sauce.
Super for breakfast, brunch or supper, eggs florentine are a delicious (and non-meaty) twist on eggs benedict. As a quick supper dish it ranks alongside rarebits of varying geographical origins. If the mood for something more fanciful occurs try the duck egg with crab sandwich, north sea brown shrimp and blade butter by Andrew Pern. Or don’t, and just feast on the simplicity of the following…
EGGS FLORENTINE RECIPE
■ 400g (14oz) spinach, washed and ready to cook
■ Salt and pepper
■ 4 English muffins
■ 8 free-range/organic eggs
For the hollandaise sauce
■ 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
■ 4 peppercorns
■ 1 bay leaf
■ 250g (9oz) unsalted butter
■ 4 egg yolks
■ Sea-salt, fine
■ Juice of half a lemon
Decadent and rich, this buttery breakfast always delights. This is also my favourite method of making hollandaise sauce.
Bring a pan of water to the boil ready to poach the eggs.
In the meantime, make the hollandaise. Place the vinegar, peppercorns and bay leaf in a pan and reduce by half.
In a separate pan, melt the butter.
Put the egg yolks into a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Strain the vinegar to remove the peppercorns and bay leaf then add to the egg yolks and start the processor immediately.
Whiz until you have a thick, pale emulsion (about two minutes). While the processor is running, pour in the warm, melted butter slowly (discard the pale butter solids at the bottom of the pan), add a pinch of fine sea-salt and, finally, the lemon juice.
Stop the processor and check the consistency – you want to be able to pour it over the poached eggs but thick enough to cling to them. If it is too thick, add a splash of hot water and start the processor again.
Scrape the hollandaise into a bowl and cover tightly with cling film (keep it warm by sitting it above a bowl of hot water), while you finish the rest of the dish.
Steam the spinach, drain well and season with salt and pepper.
Split the muffins in half and toast them.
Poach the eggs in the pan of gently simmering water.
To serve, place the spinach on top of the toasted muffin, top with a poached egg and finally a spoonful of hollandaise.