An Easter Brunch favorite is even better when made with farm-fresh eggs.
For the hollandaise sauce:
3 large egg yolks
2 sticks plus 5 Tbsp. butter, diced, at room temperature
Salt and pepper, to taste
Squeeze fresh lemon juice
For the eggs Florentine:
2 Tbsp. butter
¼ cup heavy cream
10 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
4 slices buttered toast
Chives, finely chopped, for garnish
To make the hollandaise sauce:
Place a saucepan of water over medium heat. You want the water to be simmering, not boiling. Place a heatproof bowl containing the egg yolks over but not touching the pan of water. Start whisking immediately. Slowly add the butter to the egg yolks, a few pieces at a time, whisking vigorously until it’s incorporated before adding more butter. Keep the temperature beneath the butter on low and take your time, adding the butter s-l-o-w-l-y. The key thing here is low and slow so the eggs do not scramble. Instead, you want to emulsify the egg and butter together. (Basically, you want to melt the butter without scrambling the eggs.) Keep cooking and stirring until the hollandaise sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. If it gets too thick, add a splash of cold water. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a squeeze lemon juice for a touch of sharpness to smooth out that creamy richness. Serve as soon as possible, as hollandaise does not reheat well.
To make and assemble the eggs Florentine:
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the heavy cream, and let simmer for a minute or so, until it starts to reduce and thicken. Throw in the spinach leaves and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the leaves have wilted. Pull the skillet from the heat and season the spinach with salt, pepper, and the nutmeg. Fill a deepish saucepan with about 3 inches water and bring it to a gentle, not rolling, boil. Add the vinegar and stir to make a whirlpool effect. Crack the 4 eggs carefully into the pot. The whirlpool and the vinegar will help each egg white stay together rather than stretch into some ghastly amoeba-like shape. Allow the eggs to gently simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. You’re aiming for a wobbly but well-cooked white with a runny yolk. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the eggs to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the excess water. Top the buttered toast with the creamed spinach. If you’ve got the time and the inclination, you can cut the toast into circles just slightly larger than the egg using a biscuit cutter. Carefully place an egg on top of each stack and spoon a generous helping of hollandaise on top. Garnish the eggs Florentine with the cress or chives.
Enjoy your Easter Weekend…
Until Next time