Eggs Florentine – You Know He’s a Keeper When…

sarah's eggs florentine for breakfast or brunch
You know he’s a keeper when…

…he’s still asleep in bed on a weekend morning as you saute garlic, onions, and chopped spinach.

…he stumbles into the kitchen wondering what smells sooooo good, and says it’s you.

…he looks more adorable now, rumpled hair, rubbing his eyes, a little sleepy, a little confused, than he did last night at dinner. And he looked hot last night at dinner. Hawt.

…he marvels at the magic of a poached egg, not because it’s a poached egg, but because you poached it.

…he asks you if the Mornay sauce on top is, “um…” He’s trying. “Um, Bearnaise?” Close enough. “Yes, its Bearnaise,” you say.

…he loves every bite and can’t wait for breakfast. Tomorrow morning.

Bearnaise. *you smile*

He’s a keeper.

Eggs Florentine Recipe

I think of Eggs Florentine as one of the many versions of Eggs Benedict, this one on top of sauteed spinach instead of Canadian Bacon, and covered with Mornay rather than Hollandaise sauce. It was fabulous, but it would have been fabulous-er if the entire thing were on top of buttered toast rounds, but he didn’t have any bread.

For two people, finely chop 1-2 cloves of garlic (depends on how long you’ve known him) and about a third of a large onion. Saute in 1 Tbsp olive oil until translucent, then add 2 c. cooked chopped spinach (fresh is best, but frozen works, especially that early in the day). Saute together until onions and garlic are fully cooked.

Shape 1 c. sauteed spinach on plate in two ½ c. rounds. I was in that I-want-to-impress mode, so I used a ring mold to shape the spinach into discs. Of course, Eggs Florentine is breakfast/brunch, which means you may not be caffeinated enough yet, so simply placing them on the plate is good enough.

Poach 4 eggs (2 per person) by simmering about 4 inches of water and 2 Tbsp white vinegar in a shallow-sided pot. Crack one egg into a bowl, then gently slide it into the simmering water. When it is “done” (about 5 minutes), lift out of the water with a slotted spoon, let the excess water drain off, then place poached egg on top of spinach.

Ladle Mornay Sauce over top. Or Bearnaise. Same thing, right? Right.

Mornay sauce is a white sauce. There are subtle variations in ratios from recipe to recipe based on personal taste, but in the end, it’s just about the technique. Over medium-low heat, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan, add 2 Tbsp. flour, cook for a few minutes without letting it brown, then whisk in 1 c. milk. Season with salt and pepper (some people add nutmeg, but what guy has nutmeg in his kitchen?!?!). Add about a handful of Swiss cheese and stir until melted. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little more milk.

Elsewhere on Eggs Florentine, Brunch, and Boys Who are Keepers:

(ok, not so much that last one)
~ The ultimate Eggs Florentine embellished with porcini mushrooms and smoked turkey
~ In the South, they do Eggs Florentine in a crockpot (but who wants to wait 2 hours for breakfast?)
~ From Gourmet magazine, January 2005, a hard boiled version of Eggs Florentine
~ Bam! And you have Emeril Lagasse’s Eggs Florentine
~ Your basic Eggs Florentine at Group Recipes with links to similar eggy, spinachy recipes
~ Another basic recipe (though this one uses *for shame!* cornstarch to thicken the sauce) at Recipezaar
~ Last but not least, brunch training wheels: a poaching pan so you don’t have to do it yourself

** this post originally published on 05.31.2006 **

** a year ago today, i was roadrageous, but mama voula calmed me down **

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