Looking for a brunch idea? This warm and spinachy Baked Eggs Florentine from Cook’s Illustrated is baked in little ramekins – fun to serve and even better to eat. Or, eat two ramekins and call this dinner.
One of the things we love about Cook’s Illustrated magazine is all of the research they do into perfecting a recipe, and the way they tell you all the different ways they tinker with that recipe until they arrive at the final product. All the research certainly paid off with this very satisfying eggs and spinach recipe (keep an eye on the jiggly egg whites!).
Preheat the oven to 500 and adjust an oven rack to the middle position.
Make the Spinach Filling In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 T butter. Add 1 minced shallot and stir and cook until it’s softened. Stir in 1 T flour and stir and cook for another minute. Then stir in 3/4 cup half and half, bring to a boil, and whisk constantly. Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir until it’s a thick sauce – 2 to 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in 10 oz thawed frozen spinach, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp dry mustard, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne.
Make Spinach Lining Lightly oil six 6-oz ramekins and divide the spinach among them, pushing the filling an inch up the sides to make 1/8″ thick layer. Shape the the remaining filling in the bottom of the ramakeins into mounds with a shallow indentation in the center to hold the eggs.
Heat the Ramekins and Filling Put the ramekins in a 13×9 glass baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven until the filling just starts to brown – about 7 minutes. Rotate the baking dish halfway thru baking.
Gently crack 6 eggs into individual cups or bowls. After you pull the hot ramekins from the oven, gently pour an egg into each hot ramekin, centering the yolk. Spray each egg surface with a little oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Put the dish back in the oven and bake until the whites are just opaque but still jiggle – about 6 to 8 minutes. (Extra heat will cook the whites after they’re out of the oven.) Rotate the dish halfway thru baking.
Pull the ramekins from the oven and let them sit on a wire rack until the whites are firm and set – about 10 minutes. The yolks should still be runny.
Advance Prep If you’d like to prep this ahead of time, do the steps up to and including lining the ramekin with the spinach filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days. Then, heat the lined ramekins an extra 3 to 4 minutes to take the refrigerator chill off (10-11 minutes total) before proceeding with the recipe.
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 T all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squozen dry
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1/8 tsp dry mustard
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- vegetable oil spray
- 6 large eggs
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