Kate's Cuisine

Jul 04 2012

Eggs Florentine: Review

I saw a recipe for Eggs Florentine in a really old magazine that my grandma gave me (when I say “really old,” I mean I think it was from the early 80s.) Unfortunately, the magazine got lost somewhere along the way, but I still really wanted to make the dish. The only thing that’s not really self-explanatory might be the hollandaise, and I knew how to make that so how hard could it be?

Not hard at all! This is one of those recipes that really does come together faster than you can set the table, especially if you already have a nice salad waiting in the fridge to go with it. This one’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner though; so depending on the meal, you could even just have it on its own.

Now that we’ve got the delicious and easy part out of the way, here’s some interesting history about the dish.

When Henry II of France married Catherine de Medici of Florence, she came to live with him and brought with her many of her best chefs. These chefs brought with them all of the best ingredients that they were used to in Florence – artichoke hearts, truffles, sweetbreads, and even ice cream. One of those ingredients was also spinach.

When the chefs started serving the spinach, the king’s palace wasn’t used to it, and didn’t really know what to make of it. After eating it and enjoying it, the king and everyone in the palace started calling it “Florentine,” in honour of the queen’s birthplace. And it’s not just eggs that were nicknamed “Florentine” either, but any dish that was made with spinach and Mornay sauce – which is a cheese sauce, not a yolk and butter sauce. But with this unique piece of history, it’s still fun – and fitting – to call this dish “Florentine!”

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