Eggs Florentine (And Leeks) Recipe

Who doesn't enjoy brunch? The concept of a meal between breakfast and lunch is well suited to the not-so-early risers amongst us and is becoming ever more popular. As this not-quite-breakfast and not-quite-lunch mealtime has become a phenomenon, a number of brunch staples have developed. One such dish is eggs Florentine, which regularly appears on the brunch menu at cafes and restaurants right next to its close cousin eggs Benedict. 

With a name like eggs Florentine, you'd perhaps expect it to have Italian origins, but, you'd be hard pushed to find such a meal in Florence or anywhere in Italy. Instead, the name is derived from a French convention to ascribe any dish including spinach as "à la Florentine," which is translated into the English adjective "Florentine." So, it seems we have the French to thank for this classic dish.

Regardless of its origins, eggs Florentine has become standard brunch fare, and this delicious eggs Florentine recipe by developer Jennine Rye offers something a bit different with the inclusion of leeks. Simple to make, healthy, and ridiculously tasty, this twist on a brunch classic is a real treat and if you're hosting some friends for brunch at home, it will be sure to impress.

Ingredients for this eggs Florentine (and leeks) recipe

To make this eggs Florentine (with leeks) recipe, first, you will want to gather the ingredients. You'll need a good stock of eggs for this recipe, and since you will be poaching them you'll want the freshest eggs possible. To make the hollandaise sauce, you will also want butter, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. You will also require a leek and some spinach to make this dish "à la Florentine." Finally, to serve up this delicious dish you'll need some English muffins. If you're going all-in you could even make these yourself, but if you're pushed for time, store-bought muffins will serve just as well. 

Cook the leeks and spinach

First up, you need to cook the leeks and the spinach. Add some butter to the pan and then add the chopped leeks. Once the leeks are softened, it's time to add the spinach. It will initially look like far too much spinach, but as it wilts it will become much smaller and more manageable. This is a great stage to get inventive with the dish; adding a little lemon zest can give the final dish a bit more of a lemony zing. You could also try adding some fresh garlic or grated nutmeg. Have fun and experiment with flavors to put your own stamp on your eggs Florentine dish. When the spinach has wilted, remove the pan from the heat and set it to one side.

Begin the hollandaise sauce

Next up, it's time to make the hollandaise sauce. First, melt the butter gently in the microwave so it is ready to incorporate into the sauce a little later on. Then, whisk together three egg yolks with lemon juice and water. The mixture will become frothy and will be ready for the next stage when it has roughly doubled in size. Then, you'll want to create a bain marie; place the mixing bowl over the saucepan of boiling water and continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken. 

Finish the hollandaise

As soon as the mixture begins to thicken, remove the bowl from the heat source and set it onto a flat surface. Continue whisking as you gradually add the melted butter to the egg mixture, and keep on whisking until all of the butter is incorporated and the mixture is silky smooth and glossy. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and mix that in, then set your hollandaise sauce to one side. 

Poach the eggs

Poaching eggs is the type of technique, that elevates your cooking from beginner to intermediate, so it's definitely worth cultivating the skill. Plus, people are always impressed when you poach an egg, but here's the secret; it's actually pretty simple! 

Start by simmering some water in a small saucepan, and cracking an egg into a small dish. Stir the water to generate a whirlpool and then gently drop the egg into the center. You may choose to add vinegar, but it isn't essential. As long as the water is spinning around, it will wrap the egg around itself while cooking the outside, creating your poached eggs. You will want to do one at a time, but they only take a few minutes each. 

When the egg is firm on the outside but still soft and runny inside, scoop it out and drain it on a some kitchen towel. Repeat the process until you have the desired number of poached eggs.

Assemble your eggs Florentine

When all the components are ready, it is time to assemble the final dish. Slice open the English muffins and toast them until they are golden. Divide the warm leek and spinach mixture between the toasted muffins and then place the poached eggs on top. Finally, using a pouring jug or a spoon, pour the hollandaise sauce over the eggs and then serve. This recipe is best served and enjoyed fresh so eat it up as soon as possible!

Eggs Florentine (And Leeks) Recipe
4.9 from 33 ratings
Eggs Florentine has become a brunch-time staple, and this recipe, which includes leeks offers something a bit different, but still absolutely delicious.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Freshly made eggs Florentine
Total time: 30 minutes
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, divided
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces baby leaf spinach
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 large eggs, fresh
  • 2 English muffins
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar, for poaching
  1. Heat a large, deep frying pan to a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped leeks, season well with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes until the leeks are soft. To add a more lemony flavor, add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest at this point.
  2. Add the spinach to the frying pan and allow it to wilt then mix in with the leeks. Remove the spinach and leeks from the heat and set to one side.
  3. To make the hollandaise sauce, place the remaining butter into a heatproof bowl or jug and melt it in the microwave, then set to one side.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the three egg yolks with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water for a few minutes, until the mixture is frothy and doubled in size.
  5. Set the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and continue to whisk for 4 to 5 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  6. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set on a solid surface. Whisk continually while gradually pouring the melted butter into the bowl. Keep whisking until all of the butter is incorporated and the mixture is glossy. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and whisk it in.
  7. To poach the eggs, simmer water in a small saucepan. Break an egg into a small bowl or jug, and then use a wooden spoon to gently stir the water for 10 to 15 seconds, making a whirlpool. Carefully drop the egg into the centre of the whirlpool and allow the egg to poach for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is firm and white on the outside but still soft and liquid in the centre. Scoop out the poached egg using a slotted spoon and gently set it down onto a plate covered with a sheet of kitchen towel.
  8. To assemble the eggs Florentine, first toast the English muffins. Scoop spoonfuls of the spinach and leek mixture onto the warm English muffins, and then top with the freshly poached eggs. Finish off by spooning a few scoops of hollandaise sauce on top, and serve warm.
Calories per Serving 997
Total Fat 85.6 g
Saturated Fat 48.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 773.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.8 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Total Sugars 3.7 g
Sodium 931.9 mg
Protein 24.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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