Treat yourself to a gorgeous breakfast of eggs Florentine. Poached eggs are served on toasted sourdough bread with spinach and creamy Hollandaise sauce.
When poaching eggs, it's important to use really fresh, room temperature eggs. There are several ways to tell how fresh an egg is. Here are some tips.
- 4 fresh eggs at room temperature
- 1 bunch of baby spinach
- 2 tsp of white vinegar
- 2 thick slices of sourdough bread
- Butter for the toast
- HOLLANDAISE DRESSING
- 30 mls white vinegar
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 egg yolks
- 150 mls of melted butter
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- Serves 2
- Make the Hollandaise sauce. Combine the vinegar, peppercorns and bay leaf in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring vinegar to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes or until mixture reduces to 2 teaspoons-worth. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve and set aside. Discard peppercorns and bay leaf.
- Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Check that the bowl fits snugly into the pan without touching the water. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and bring the water to the boil.
- While you are waiting the water to boil, place egg yolks and vinegar in the heatproof bowl and whisk until combined. Have the warm, melted butter in a small jug nearby.
- Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off and place the heatproof bowl with egg yolk mixture over the saucepan. Use a wire balloon whisk to whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail is visible when the whisk is lifted. This mixture is called a "sabayon".
- Remove the bowl from the saucepan and place it on a kitchen towel on a flat surface to steady it. Whisk the warm melted butter into the sabayon, a few drops at a time, until it's completely incorporated. The Hollandaise should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Now prepare the eggs. Add vinegar to a deep frying pan or saucepan filled with water (about 8cm deep) and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a gentle simmer. Crack 1 egg onto a small saucer. Use a large spoon to stir the water to create a whirlpool. Gently slide the egg into the middle of the whirlpool and poach for 1 to 2 minutes for a soft egg, or until cooked to your liking. Use a slotted spoon to transfer egg to a plate. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm and repeat with the remaining eggs.
- Meanwhile, quickly blanch the spinach in hot water and drain well.
- Toast the bread and place it on two serving plates. Spoon the spinach on the slices of toast. Top with the poached eggs and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.