I love spinach, raw or cooked. When eating out in restaurants I often order something with spinach in it just to ensure at least a smidgen of nutrition in what is probably an otherwise indulgent meal.
I didn’t always like spinach, in fact, I despised it as a child. I’m pretty sure I would dislike it even now prepared the way it was back then. Even restaurants don’t always get it right (do you sense a rant coming on?). I sometimes wonder what in tarnation they do to make spinach so awful. There is hardly a more tender green vegetable, raw or cooked, than spinach, yet somehow the spinach omelet or spinach enchiladas I order occasionally come out as tough as kale. How do they do that?!
We ate out for breakfast the other day at a restaurant we hadn’t been to before and I ordered Eggs Benedict Florentine. I won’t mention the name of the restaurant, but First Watch really messed up my order. The raw spinach leaves were 85 percent rotten. They also had long tough stems sticking out all over the place. The ciabatta half on which the two poached eggs were perched almost resembled a centipede.
I would never reach into a bag of spinach, grab a handful and throw it onto some food. Even the ones advertised as “Washed 3 times so you don’t have to” have occasional rotten leaves in there. They might be clean but they are still rotten. I at least glance at them, and while I’m at it it takes no extra time to pinch the stems off at the base of the leaves.
Another way the dish was a disappointment was the sauce. It was not Hollandaise. It was clear and had no flavor. I had only experienced Eggs Benedict Florentine once before and that was in a tiny restaurant in downtown Saskatoon. It was so delicious I decided it was my new favorite breakfast dish. Trouble is, so few establishments offer it on their menus. Therefore, if I were to write a review of the dish at the afore mentioned unnamed restaurant, I would give First Watch’s Eggs Benedict Florentine at least one star just for attempting the dish, and another for the perfectly poached eggs. Oh, the potatoes on the side were pretty good too.
After that denigrating report on my unfortunate restaurant experience it is only fair to see if I am able to do any better. Even though I like raw spinach, one thing I did differently was to blanch the de-stemmed leaves.
With all that is involved with this dish and how quickly the preparation must move along there are no process photos to show. For the same reasons my eggs were a bit over done.