Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Case of Eggs Florentine

Living vegetarian is particularly challenging for anyone who wasn't born into it. Unlike those deeded a virtual treasure trove of vegetarian recipes, veggie newcomers must forge a new path by adapting foods familiar to them, and adopting dishes exotic to their experience. It's both a grand experiment and an exciting adventure. 

Luckily, many vegetarian alternatives have become commonplace, such as Eggs Florentine, an adaptation of Eggs Benedict. Eggs Florentine substitutes spinach for ham.

The gourmet way to make this dish would be to make an exquisite Hollandaise from scratch. Maybe someday. But because I currently find it hard to toast English muffins, sauté spinach, poach eggs, and prepare Hollandaise, and have them all ready to assemble at the same time, the Becki Green way to make Eggs Florentine is to cheat. On top of that, I greatly reduce the amount of butter, compared to what's recommended on the packet, because given the choice of a teeny blob of high-fat Hollandaise, or a generous stream of less fat-laden but equally delicious Hollandaise, I choose the latter.

Eggs Florentine

1 packet Hollandaise sauce mix (Knorr is good)
1 tsp butter
2% milk or water according to package directions, plus a little more to replace most of the butter
salt
2 English muffins
4 eggs
10 oz baby spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
pepper
paprika

Poach the eggs. Prepare the Hollandaise sauce mix, using just the 1 tsp butter, 2% milk or water, and several pinches of salt (to replace salt lost with the butter). Split and toast the English muffins. Lightly sauté the baby spinach in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Assemble on plates – muffin halves, spinach, eggs, sauce. Dust with paprika. Serves 2.

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