Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Baked Eggs Florentine

After last week's Eggs Benedict, I thought I'd give Eggs Florentine a whirl.  To me, Florentine either means chocolate almond biscuits with cherries and sultanas or something full of cheese and spinach.

Back when I worked in Exmouth Market (not actually on a market stall) my favourite sandwich shop made a toasted Florentine ciabatta - containing a mix of cheddar, mayo, mushrooms and spinach.  A recipe for thunder thighs if ever there was one.  It was like a hug in a sandwich.  And during a particularly rubbish time of my life, I had a lot of sandwich hugs!
Would've looked more inviting with a runny yolk!

So reading Dame Mary's recipe for Eggs Florentine didn't surprise me that it had gallons of cheese sauce but I felt a bit guilty about such wanton abandon so I tried one from Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food instead.  This just used creme fraiche and even though mine was half-fat, it was still a gloriously rich dish.

Still have to get the hang of my new oven though as one minute the egg was barely cooked - the next the yolk had gone all solid.  I'm sure a runny yolk would make it even better.

Definitely a luxury breakfast or a light lunch with crusty bread.

Serves 4.

2tbsp butter
1lb (450g) spinach leaves
sea salt and black pepper
4 large eggs (room temp)
6-8tbsp creme fraiche
  • Heat oven to 400F. Melt butter in large pan over high heat. Add spinach and some seasoning and stir until wilted.
  • Divide spinach among 4 buttered individual ceramic dishes and spread evenly, making a slight indentation in centre. Let cool slightly.
  • Crack an egg into each indentation, then carefully spoon creme fraiche around. Season with sprinkle of salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Bake in oven 10-12 min until egg whites are set, but yolks are still quite soft and runny. Serve immediately.

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