The term ‘Florentine’ in a recipe title indicates that the dish uses spinach. This updated version of the classic eggs Florentine uses a sauce thickened with cornstarch rather than a butter and flour roux. Serve with whole-wheat toast.
To make the cheese sauce, mix the cornstarch to a paste with a little milk. Pour the remaining milk into a nonstick saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir the boiling milk into the cornstarch mixture, then pour back into the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring. Once it has thickened, simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the Gruyère cheese, and season with nutmeg and pepper. Cover the surface of the sauce with parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming and set aside in a warm place.
Heat the margarine with the oil in a saucepan. Add the leeks and cook for about 3 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the spinach and stir. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the leeks are tender. Drain the vegetables in a sieve, pressing down with the back of a spoon to remove any excess moisture. Return to the pan and season with pepper. Cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, half-fill a large frying pan with water and bring to simmering point. Add the vinegar. Break in the eggs, and cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes, spooning the hot water over the yolks. Lift out the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Preheat the broiler. Spread the leek and spinach mixture in an even layer in a large flameproof dish. Make 4 hollows in the vegetables using the back of a spoon and place a poached egg in each hollow. Spoon the cheese sauce over the eggs. Lightly dust with paprika, then place the dish under the broiler. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned. Serve eggs Florentine at once.
Per serving: 278 calories, 17 g protein, 18 g fat (5 g saturated) 224 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrate, 7 g sugars, 3 g fibre, 229 mg sodium.
Spinach is a good source of nutrients with antioxidant properties, including vitamins C and E and carotenoid compounds. Leeks belong to the onion family. They provide vitamin E, and the green part of the leek is a good source of beta carotene.