A classic French recipe: A delicious florentine eggs with spinach recipe. The eggs are still a bit soft, with fresh spinach and a delicious Mornay sauce.
A delicious brunch recipe: Florentine eggs. The eggs are cooked until they're slightly soft. The spinach is blanched and after that the veggies are placed with the eggs in a casserole. A delicious homemade Mornay sauce (with butter, egg yolk and crème fraîche) is the topping. A classic recipe from the French Kitchen.
Why is this recipe called Florentin?
This French recipe is made with spinach. Traditional stories tell that Catherine de Medicis who married Prince Henry of France in 1533 introduced spinach to the French cuisine. This Catherine was born in the Florence region in Italy and the story goes that Florence / Florentine is named in tribute to Catherine.
In France, Florentine recipes have always been made with spinach. For example, fried Florentine spinach with eggs, Florentine omelette with cheese and spinach or Florentine chicken with spinach.
What's the difference with Egg Benedict
Another well-known egg dish is Egg Benedict, and this recipe is of American origin. Both recipes are often confused, but are definitely not the same. Although in both recipes the eggs are topped with a creamy sauces, the Egg Benedict recipe does not contain spinach. Egg Benedict, on the other hand, has the addition of bacon. Also a very tasty recipe.
Besides Egg Benedict, there are many more well-known variations: Egg mornay, Egg Blackstone and Egg Blanchard to name a few.
Poach or cook?
Florentine egg recipes which can be found in cookbooks or the internet differ mainly by opting for a poached egg or a boiled egg. For this recipe I've chosen boiled eggs. This has the advantage that you can prepare the recipe for a big part in advance, you can prepare it quite easily for more than 4 people and it is also easy to prepare. And it makes the dish suitable for the elderly and children, because the yolk has solidified.
Poached eggs are made by breaking the egg over boiling water while swirling the water. It is one of the most difficult techniques for preparing your egg, but also one that is definitely worth it in terms of taste. It's not suitable for elderly and Children because the yolks are not done. But if you want to prepare poached eggs you can find the description for making poached eggs in this recipe.
Mornay versus Hollandaise sauce
Florentine eggs are often topped with a Mornay or Hollandaise sauce. You would expect the Hollandaise sauce to come from the Netherlands (aka Holland), but nothing could be further from the truth. Just like the Mornay sauce, the Hollandaise sauce also originated in French cuisine. But what is the difference?
The Hollandaise sauce is made with egg yolks, vinegar, white wine and a lot of butter. Like the ingredients you use in mayonnaise (only use butter instead of oil) and it's an emulsion sauce (that's what it's called). You beat the egg yolks nice and light and then you heat everything to a nice airy sauce.
A de Mornay sauce is a béchamel sauce with cheese: a full Gruyère cheese. The sauce is therefore very rich and filling.And the cheese will brown wonderfully under the grill. The sauce contains less butter compared to the Hollandaise sauce.
📖 Variations and substitutes
This recipe is really delicious, but if you want to adjust the recipe to your taste or replace an ingredient with something from your pantry, then I have some nice suggestions here.
- Use poached eggs and steamed spinach and top a sandwich with it. Top that with some sauce (as described below) and put under the broiler for 5 minutes. You can easily make poached eggs with this recipe.
- Replace the spinach with smoked salmon for an even more luxurious recipe. This is also called egg royale. The recipe is of course no longer vegetarian, but still pescetarian.
- In the Mornay sauce, replace the Gruyère cheese with Parmesan or Gouda cheese, which is also very tasty.
- For a gluten-free recipe, replace the flour with gluten-free flour or corn flour.
💭 Top tips
- In this recipe you use soft boiled eggs. And that is not difficult at all. Cook and peel your eggs quickly and easily according to this step-by-step plan, and change the cook time to 5 minutes.
- You can wash leafy vegetables such as spinach quickly and easily by stirring them in a container of ice cold water to which you ad 1 tablespoon of salt. You stir the leaves well and then let it stand for five minutes. The sand disappears to the bottom and the salt causes bugs to float to the surface. Remove the spinach carefully from the water. Then fill the container twice more with new cold water to remove the salt and the small amount of sand.
- Roux tips:
- Melt the butter and add the flour. Bake for at least 2 minutes so that the flour flavor disappears. Use a wooden spatula to scrape the flour from the bottom. When adding the liquid, you switch to a whisk.
- Add a cold liquid to the warm flour mixture. That way you get fewer lumps. In this case, add cold milk to the warm flour-butter mixture.
A good preparation makes the job a lot easier. And when you're in a hurry this steps can be done in advance.
- You cook the eggs up to two days in advance. Store them airtight in the refrigerator until use.
- Wash the spinach the day before. Store in an airtight container or bag to which you have added a slightly damp paper towel (to prevent the leaves from drying out) until ready to use).
- Grate the cheese. You can do this up to 3 days in advance. Store the grated cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Use eggs size M and serve bread with this dish to make it more filling.
- Use frozen spinach. That is much cheaper than fresh spinach. Defrost the spinach in a strainer to allow excess water to drain.
- Instead of Gruyère cheese you use a Gouda cheese.
- Omit the crème fraîche.
⏲️ What to do with left overs?
- This recipe contains spinach that we cook. Therefore, it is not advisable to reheat it. Therefore, adjust the amount you are going to make to the number of people.
- Do you have leftover Mornay sauce that you haven't used? Make a sandwich and brush it with the Mornay sauce. Bake it in a pan and you get a Crocques Madame. And of course you can also use leftovers to cover your lasagna recipe.
- You are not using the whole jar of crème fraîche in this recipe. What can you do with the leftovers? Use them in the soup to make it creamier. Or as a topping on pancakes with raspberries (highly recommended) and of course you serve them with the tacos.
🥘 Other delicious recipes
If you like this recipe you probably like these to:
- Homemade corn bread (delicious to serve with this recipe and your house smells really great afterwards, who can resist the smell of homemade bread)
- Homemade croissant recipe (can't be missed at a delicious breakfast)
- Povotica ( a delicious sweet bread with walnut filling)
- Grilled sandwich with Camembert
Florentine eggs with spinach
- 6 eggs
- pinch salt
- ½ pound spinach fresh
- ½ stick butter unsalted
- 2 ounces Gruyère matured
- 1 ounce butter unsalted, 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk cold
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- ⅓ cup crème fraîche
- 1 ounce Gruyère grated
- Boil the eggs.
- Wash the spinach and drain in a colander.
- Grate the cheese
- Put the eggs in a pan and fill with water about 2 cm above the eggs.
- Add six eggs and bring the water to a boil on medium heat.
- Turn of the heat, cover with a lid and let the eggs stand for 5 minutes.
- Put the eggs in a sieve or colander and put them under a cold water flow. That way they will peel much better.
- Peel the eggs and put them aside.
- Bring a second pan of salted water to the boil.
- Meanwhile, wash the spinach thoroughly.
- When the water boils, add the spinach .
- At the time the water boils again, you get the spinach out quickly and transfer it into a bowl of cold water so that the cooking process stops.
- Drain in a colander.
- Add 60 grams of butter in a pan, melt, add spinach and cook the spinach until it is completely depleted.
- Put the butter in a saucepan and let it melt (but not brown).
- Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes so that the flour remains white, doesn't brown and won't burn.
- Slowly poor the milk with the butter flour mixture, while stirring with a whisk, and bring to a boil.
- Mix the egg yolk and crème fraîche in a seperate bowl.
- When the sauce thickens add the egg mixture, and cook for about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and mix in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper .
Make the casserole
- Preheat the grill.
- Put the spinach in a baking dish and level it.
- Bring it to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide the eggs on the spinach and pour the Mornay sauce on top.
- Sprinkle with the Gruyère cheese and put it under the grill for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted (check now and then, the cheese should be brown but not burnt).