Eggs Florentine


Ingredients

Serves: 4

20 g (¾ oz) cornflour

300 ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk

45 g (1 ½ oz) Gruyére cheese, finely grated

pinch of grated nutmeg

15 g (½ oz) butter

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

200 g (7 oz) baby leeks, thinly sliced

800 g (1 ¾ Ib) baby spinach leaves

1 tsp vinegar

8 eggs

salt and pepper

paprika to garnish

Preparation

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 20 mins

 

First make the sauce. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little of the milk. Pour the remaining milk into a non-stick saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir the boiling milk into the cornflour mixture, then pour back into the saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring. Once the sauce has thickened, simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the Gruyére, and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Cover the surface of the sauce with a piece of greaseproof paper to prevent a skin from forming and set aside in a warm place.

 

Heat the butter with the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and cook gently for about 3 minutes, stirring, until beginning to soften. Add the spinach and stir. Cover the pan and continue cooking over a moderate heat for 2–3 minutes or until the spinach has wilted and the leeks are tender. Drain the vegetables in a sieve, pressing down with the back of a spoon to remove excess moisture. Return to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

 

While the vegetables are cooking, poach the eggs. Half fill a large frying pan with water and bring to simmering point. Add the vinegar. Break in 4 of the eggs, one at a time, and cook gently for 3–4 minutes, spooning the hot water over the yolks towards the end of the cooking time. Lift out the eggs with a draining spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Poach the remaining eggs in the same way.

 

Preheat the grill to high. Spread the leek and spinach mixture in an even layer in a large flameproof dish. Make 8 hollows in the vegetables using the back of a spoon and place a poached egg in each hollow.

 

Spoon the cheese sauce over the eggs. Lightly dust with paprika, then place the dish under the grill. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serve at once.

 

 

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