Poached eggs Florentine

  • for 4 people
  • Ready in 25 minutes
  • Easy
This is a variation on the classic eggs Florentine recipe. It's made with spinach and a poached egg and then topped with cheese sauce before being finished off under the grill. A truly indulgent brunch.

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  • 65g sunflower margarine
  • 30g plain flour
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1kg fresh spinach, washed and any large stalks removed
  • White wine vinegar
  • 8 very fresh, medium, organic, free-range eggs
  • 50g Gruyère, coarsely grated


  1. Melt 40g margarine in a small pan, add the flour and cook gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer very gently, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pack as much spinach as you can into a large pan and place over a high heat. As it wilts, gradually add the remainder and, when it has all wilted, cover and cook for 1 minute. Tip into a colander and press out the liquid. Melt the remaining margarine in the same large pan, remove from the heat and add the spinach. Season.
  3. Preheat the grill to high. Bring 5cm water to the boil in a wide shallow pan. Add a little vinegar and salt and reduce the heat until a few bubbles rise up from the base. Break in 4 eggs and poach very gently for 3 minutes. They need to be quite soft as they will cook further under the grill. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the other 4 eggs.
  4. Briefly reheat the spinach and spoon into 4 buttered, small, shallow ovenproof dishes. Top with the poached eggs. Stir 40g cheese into the sauce, season and spoon over the eggs. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and grill for 2 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve with wholewheat toast.
  • Spinach is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein while eggs provide retinol – all good for vision.

From February 2006

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