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Poached Eggs with Spinach Recipe (Oeufs Pochés à la Florentine)


This classic recipe may be served as a starter, but is also excellent for a light lunch or brunch.

PREP TIME: 20 min
COOK TIME: 30 min
READY TIME: 50 min

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  • 30 g/1 oz/2 tbsp butter
  • 450 g/1 lb young spinach leaves
  • 2.5 ml/1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 173 g/6 oz 3/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 15 ml/t tbsp water
  • Salt and white pepper


To make the hollandaise sauce

1 Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it bubbles, then remove from the heat.

2Put the egg yolks, lemon juice and water into a blender or food processor and whizz to blend.

3With the machine running, slowly pour in the hot butter in a thin stream. Stop pouring when you reach the milky solids at the bottom.

4Season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice if needed. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl, cover and keep warm.

To make the poached eggs and spinach

1Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally. Season and keep warm.

2To poach the eggs, bring a medium pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the vinegar. Break an egg into a saucer and slide the egg into the water. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until the white is set and the yolk is still soft.

3Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim any untidy edges with scissors and keep warm. Cook the remaining eggs in the same way.

4To serve, spoon the spinach on to warmed plates and make an indentation in each mound. Place the eggs on top and pour over a little hollandaise sauce.


Hollandaise sauce is quick and easy to make in a blender or food processor. If you wish, you can make it an hour or two in advance and keep it warm in a wide­mouthed vacuum flask