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
- 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
- 1/3 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
- Splash olive oil
- Fine salt
- 1 1/2 ounces Beaufort Gruyere, or Comte cheese, grated
Make the eggs
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Preheat the broiler.
- 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.
- 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.]
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Savory, rich, and elegant. One bite and I swooned. This could be served any time of day and doesn’t need any company. It stands on its own just fine. Your guests will feel very special.
The eggs were so perfect! The white was firm enough not to crack open on its own and the yolk was a gooey consistency. Gooey enough to ooze out when the white was cracked but not runny. I lmelted the Comte cheese with a torch. This went very quickly and warmed the eggs. The cheese was completely melted with little brown dots here and there. Very nice.
I just love this recipe. I made it with fresh spinach that I bought at a farmer’s market. It’s important to cook it JUST until tender to get all the flavor. Using béchamel, with its warm taste of nutmeg, instead of the classic hollandaise sauce gives the dish a different but delicious flavor.
The melted cheese (you can use any of several cheeses, depending on your preference) and the runny yolks on the top makes this simple recipe ideal for a breakfast or a light meal.
A delicious and fairly quick dinner. Start to finish, the recipe takes about 40 minutes and is so satisfying. A nice, runny yolk from the soft-boiled egg melds with the cheese and bechamel over the tasty garlicky spinach. So good.
I used gruyere in place of the Beaufort cheese and it was great. I served it with bacon and toast but it could easily hold its own with no extras needed to complete the meal.
WOW. We all loved this recipe. It not only looked beautiful on a plate but was delicious.
Though this recipe is perfect for 4 people, it’s pretty easy to eat 2 portions, especially if you don’t add bread to go along with it.
I used baby spinach for the base and gluten-free all-purpose flour for the bechamel. I started by first doing the bechamel so to be 100% ready as I was working on the spinach on one pan as I created poached eggs on a small pot. The bechamel would have been enough for another 4 eggs and I wished I would have made enough spinach and eggs so we could have had 2 each.
I loved the interplay of slightly bitter, garlicky spinach with creamy sauce, sharp cheese, and rich egg. We had this for dinner and left the table fully satisfied and very happy. We will be adding this to our regular dinner rotation!
I had never made soft boiled eggs before and wasn’t sure if I would like the results. After broiling most of the yolk was still runny but the whites were set, which was perfect for my taste. There was a small ring of firmer yolk around the outside of each yolk, which was fine with me, but other people might like their yolks less set.
I couldn’t find Beaufort cheese so I used a mixture of Fontina and Asiago. I had a cup of sauce left over that I didn’t even use, in addition to quite a bit in each ramekin that we didn’t eat. I used the leftover sauce to make another batch of eggs Florentine later in the week and it was just the right amount for 6 eggs. There was too much spinach, as well, at least for our tastes. I used 8 ounces when I made it the second time and still had some left over for lunch the next day. It made a nice “creamed spinach.” I used an extra ounce of cheese (2 1/2 ounces instead of 1 1/2 ounces).
The second time I made the dish, I chopped the spinach just a bit. I liked it better that way than when I left the spinach leaves whole. And I chopped the garlic clove and left it in the spinach. I liked the extra garlicky flavor it added to the dish.
Originally published December 28, 2018