This easy eggs Florentine, made with perfectly poached eggs perched on a bed of spinach and smothered in creamy béchamel sauce, is a vegetarian brunch classic. Rightfully so.
These easy eggs Florentine are essentially a vegetarian riff on traditional eggs Benedict that swaps a simple béchamel sauce for the rather fussy hollandaise in classic eggs Florentine. Each perfectly soft-boiled egg is nestled on heap of spinach that’s smothered in béchamel, sprinkled with cheese, and broiled just until golden. So stunning and so satisfying that no one will ever notice any difference—except the person in the kitchen rejoicing at less work and less time spent away from the table.–Angie Zoobkoff
Easy Eggs Florentine
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 2 to 4
Special Equipment: Four (4- to- 6-ounce | 120- to- 170-ml) ramekins
- For the eggs
- 4 large eggs
- Splash distilled white vinegar
- For the béchamel sauce
- 3 tablespoons salted butter (1 1/2 oz)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Fine salt
- For the spinach
- 1 garlic clove
- 14 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter (3/4 oz)
- Splash olive oil
- Fine salt
- To serve
- 1 1/2 ounces Beaufort, Gruyere, or Comte cheese, grated
- Make the eggs
- 1. Fill a medium saucepan with water, add a splash of vinegar, and then bring to a boil. Immerse the un-cracked eggs in the boiling water and cook for 6 minutes. While they are cooking, fill a large bowl half full of ice water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the ice water to cool slightly, then remove the shells from the soft-boiled eggs.
- Make the béchamel sauce
- 2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook until the mixture begins to froth, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, gradually whisk in the cold milk, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add a little nutmeg and salt.
- Make the spinach
- 3. Peel the garlic, flatten it with the blade of a knife, then place in a medium skillet along with the butter and oil and set over low heat. If desired, rip or coarsely chop the spinach leaves. Add the spinach to the skillet, season with salt, and cook, tossing it with tongs, just until wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Discard the garlic clove.
- To serve
- 4. Preheat the broiler.
- 5. Divide the spinach among the ramekins, add an egg to each one, then cover each with some of the béchamel and sprinkle with the grated cheese. You’re going to have some leftover bechamel sauce. This is a good thing. Because chances are you’re going to want to make another batch of Eggs Florentine in the VERY near future.
- 6. Broil until the cheese is browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately. [Editor’s Note: You can serve these eggs Florentine straight from the ramekins or, if you’re the courageous sort, you could slide a thin knife along the inside edge of the ramekin, loosen the contents from the ramekin, and carefully ease everything onto a plate, keeping in mind it may take a little practice before yours looks perfect like the one in the photo above.]