Eggs Florentine

Serves 4

Both this and eggs Benedict are popular throughout the day, not just for breakfast or brunch, no doubt because of the perfect combination of ingredients – poached egg and spinach or ham on an English muffin, topped with buttery hollandaise. Our muffins are handmade by Flour Station, which you will find at a lot of farmers’ markets.


50ml white wine vinegar

8 eggs

4 english muffins

1 quantity hollandaise sauce (see below)


olive oil

500g spinach

freshly grated nutmeg

freshly ground black pepper

20g butter

1. First prepare the spinach. Heat up a pan large enough to hold all the spinach. When it is very hot, add a splash of olive oil and throw in the spinach. Turn it over with tongs for 1–2 minutes until wilted. 2. Tip into a colander and press out any excess liquid. Return to the pan and season with a few gratings of nutmeg, pepper to taste and the butter. Divide into four portions. Keep warm. 3. Preheat the grill. To poach the eggs, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the vinegar. When simmering, gently crack the eggs and slip them into the water, without breaking the yolks. Poach the eggs for about 3 minutes or until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft. 4. Meanwhile, split the muffins and toast them on both sides under the grill. 5. Put a portion of spinach on each muffin half and warm under the grill. 6. When the eggs are done, lift them out on a slotted spoon and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place one on each muffin half and spoon over the hollandaise.

note: For Eggs Benedict, instead of spinach, top each toasted muffin half with a slice of high-quality smoked ham

Hollandaise sauce

Serves 4

250g unsalted butter

4 egg yolks

1 tsp tarragon vinegar

pinch of salt

1/2 lemon

cayenne pepper

1. Melt the butter on a low heat. It will separate to make a layer of clear golden fat (clarified butter) on top. Use a ladle to remove the clarified butter, leaving the milky residue in the pan (discard the residue). Keep the clarified butter in a warm place. 2. Put the egg yolks in a stainless-steel bowl with the vinegar, salt and 2 teaspoons cold water and whisk for a few minutes. 3. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. 4. Continue whisking until the mixture is pale, thick and fluffy. 5. Remove from the pan of simmering water and slowly whisk in the clarified butter. Squeeze in the lemon juice, season with a pinch of cayenne and check the salt. Serve as soon as possible.

notes: When making hollandaise, keep the butter wrapper. Then if you need to keep the sauce for a bit before serving, you can place the wrapper on the surface of the sauce, to keep it warm and prevent a skin from forming.

Watch a video demonstration from Canteen above.

Canteen's ' Best British Food', published by Ebury , is out now.