Eggs benedict with smoked salmon and spinach

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By: Allegra McEvedy From: Perfect...

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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.31 / 5 (26 votes)

Prep time:
30 min
Cook time:
10 min

Serving Allegra McEvedy's eggs benedict with salmon and spinach gets the day off to a hearty start start


1. For the hollandaise: put the vinegar in a saucepan with the peppercorns, shallot and bay leaf, then boil over a high heat to reduce by half. Strain the reduction into a jug. Gently melt the butter so that the butter solids fall to the bottom of the saucepan, then pour into a jug and let settle so you have clarified butter left behind.

2. Put the egg yolks and a little water into a small pyrex bowl and rest it over a pan of barely simmering water, bain marie style. Whisk constantly with a balloon whisk until light and frothy, then remove from the heat, still whisking. Start to trickle the butter in, whisking all the time until you have a thick, smooth consistency. Pour in a splash of the reduction – about 1 tsp – to keep it loose. If the sauce is too thick, thin down with a little hot water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. For the eggs benedict: heat a large dry saucepan to a medium-high heat. Put in the garlic with a little butter, then the washed spinach. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove the spinach from the pan, then drain and squeeze out the excess water.

4. Heat a saucepan of water to a gentle simmer – you should see tiny bubbles along the base of the pan – then pour in the vinegar. Using a wooden spoon swirl the water around the pan gently, then break the eggs one by one into the pan. Leave on a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.

5. Halve and toast the English muffins until lightly golden. Place 2 muffin halves on each plate, top each half with a slice of smoked salmon, some spinach and then a poached egg. Coat with the hollandaise and serve garnished with basil sprigs and lemon wedges.


For the hollandaise

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1/2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks

For the eggs benedict

Tips and suggestions

You can watch Allegra make her hollandaise here.

When poaching eggs following the vortex theory, the idea is that you have to create a whirlpool in your pan of boiling water by whisking it around which helps the egg hold its shape when it first enters the water.

The most important word when it comes to poaching eggs seems to be "fresh". If your eggs are too old, then the whites won't coagulate properly. The best way to test the freshness of your egg is to put it into a bowl of water. The more they float the older they are, as the egg pocket at the top expands as the egg ages.

Adding vinegar helps coagulate the egg whites to stop them thinning in the pans.

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Latest Comment


Fantastic! She is such a talented chef. Nice that she made it by hand, despite confessing on Perfect that she normally uses a blender...!

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food  Posted 23 May 2011 11:26 AM

We had this for lunch today and (despite the Tesco Finest Smoked Salmon being cut like slices of toast) it was absolutely delicious. My first attempt for YEARS at Hollandaise which turned out perfectly. This was also the prettiest lunch we have had for ages. We have our own chickens (about 37 at the moment) each of which lays a perfect, orange-yoked egg almost every day in the season, so the sauce and the egg were almost luminous! Lovely twist on a classic. Thanks very much, Allegra, you're a star!

The Dalai Farmer The Dalai Farmer  Posted 20 May 2011 3:14 PM