Eggs Florentine


This is my perfect brunch dish – decadent yet nutritious, filling without being stodgy and, above all, totally delicious.

I always used to buy the hollandaise in a jar, but the other day Papa Swabey forgot to buy some on his pre-breakfast supermarket mission and, rather than trudging back to get it, we decided to google how to make our own. I used this recipe, and, you know what? It’s not actually that hard. And it’s much cheaper and tastes better, too.

Papa Swabey prefers the Benedict version (replacing the spinach with ham) and the kids are happy with just the egg and muffin, but I’ve done this as a ‘serves 2’ recipe, in case you have more luck than I did persuading someone to join you.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t poach the eggs myself, though. That’s always Papa Swabey’s job. I’ll give it another go someday, I promise, but last time it gave me The Rage. Anyway, his top tips are: a drop of vinegar and pinch of salt in the pan, then swirl the water before dropping the egg in.

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Serves: 2


  • 125g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • splash ice cold water
  • lemon juice
  • cayenne pepper

To make eggs Florentine:

  • 2 muffins, halved
  • a bag of spinach
  • 4 poached eggs


  1. Melt the butter in a pan and skim any white solids from surface. Set aside and put two egg yolks, 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a splash of water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over a small pan. Whisk for a few minutes then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until pale and thick, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter, bit by bit until it’s all incorporated and you have a creamy hollandaise. (If it gets too thick, add another splash of water.) Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little cayenne pepper. Keep warm until needed.
  3. To make eggs Florentine, wilt the spinach in a large pan or wok, toast the muffins and top each with some spinach, a poached egg and spoon over a generous helping of hollandaise.



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