Eggs Florentine

Eggs FlorentineThere’s Nothin’ Like A Good Book
I love to read. Ever since the fourth grade when my best friend in the whole wide world introduced me to Sidney Sheldon and Danielle Steel, I have been a voracious reader. Yes, fourth grade may have been a bit early for Sidney, but there was plenty of Judy Bloom and Sweet Valley High thrown in there for good measure.

From there it was on to Robin Cook and Coma. Can you say freaky? Tom Clancy and The Hunt For Red October came next and was later followed by Diana Gabaldon and Outlander.

I have a long list of favorite authors but I’ll read just about anything. My husband jokes that he is married to the back of a Kindle, and if the story has a dead body in a dumpster, Seal Teams blowing stuff up, a biologist trying to save the world from the latest government-sponsored outbreak, or a semi-clothed Highlander in a kilt, I’m reading it. And, of course He’s right :). Don’t even get me started on Janet Evanovich and Stephanie Plum.

One of my favorite things in life is the feeling I get from laughing out loud while reading. If people aren’t giving me strange looks, then I’m not doing it right. I admit though, that there are times when a good story trumps meeting the needs of my family. Dumbledore is dead and you need your dinner now?! Are you kidding me?!?

Over the weekend, I read the latest Dan Brown novel, Inferno. Like millions of other readers, I have been a fan of his since The DaVinci Code. This current book is set in Florence, Italy and if you have even a small love of art you will enjoy it.

His numerous references to Florence brings to mind the word Florentine which, in turn makes me think of spinach, which makes me think of the following recipe.

It’s going to be really hot this weekend, so getting anything meaningful done outside ain’t gonna happen. My suggestion is to grab a book, crank the AC or a giant fan and eat a plate of these. 

Eggs Florentine
Adapted from Giada at Home by Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time: 18 min

Vegetable oil cooking spray
4 thin slices prosciutto
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 beefsteak tomatoes, trimmed and cut into 1-inch thick slices

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400º F. Coat a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Crisp the prosciutto
Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake until it is crispy (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove the prosciutto from the oven and cool it completely before crumbling it into small pieces.

Make the spinach sauce
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the spinach and nutmeg and cook until the spinach has wilted (about 1 to 2 minutes). Stir in the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens slightly (about 5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Poach the eggs
Fill a small saucepan with 3 inches of water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the lemon juice. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Crack an egg in a small bowl—taking care not to break the yolk. Slowly slide the egg into the water. Using a wooden spoon, carefully stir the water around the egg. Cook until the white has set and the yolk is still soft (about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the water and drain it on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

Assemble the Eggs Florentine
To serve, place a tomato slice on each salad plate and season it with salt and pepper. Spoon 1/4 of the spinach sauce over the tomato slice. Top with a poached egg and sprinkle with the crumbled prosciutto. Serve warm.

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