Eggs Florentine – Stimulating the love of excellence in society is an important element of the nobility’s mission

April 2, 2012

Marriage of the future Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici

When Catherine de Medici―who became Queen of France 465 years ago, on March 31, 1547―left behind her native Florence in order to marry Henry, the second son of Francis I, she brought some expert chefs with her. Their culinary productions were well received at the French court and the French nobility helped spread their fame to the rest of the realm. Years later, like so many of France’s finest elaborations, these recipes were warmly welcomed around the world.

Portrait of Catherine de' Medici

One of these dishes attributed to Queen Catherine’s chefs is Eggs Florentine.


Popular recipes quickly unfold into dozens of pleasant variations. The pictures in this post show some of the many other ways Eggs Florentine can be prepared and served.

Eggs Florentine Porfilio

 Serves 9

Part I:

1 ½ lbs of bacon

2 10 ounce packages of frozen spinach

15 eggs

2 cups of Cottage Cheese

8 ounces of grated Swiss cheese

8 ounces of Feta cheese

4 ounces (1/2 stick) of butter

1 1/3 tbsp of nutmeg

Salt to taste

Part II:

2 tbsp of butter

4 tbsp of flour

2 cups of milk

8 ounces of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

½ tsp of salt

¼ tsp dry mustard

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Part I – the eggs and spinach bed:

Thaw the spinach a few hours before.

Bake or fry the bacon until well done. Cut or crumble bacon into small pieces. (This can be done the day before.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a 13 x 9 casserole dish.

Cook the spinach for three or four minutes in a saucepan (no need to add any water). Drain well, pressing hard to remove as much liquid as possible.

Put the cooked spinach into a mixing bowl. Add the bacon, cottage cheese, Swiss and Feta cheeses, melted butter and nutmeg. Mix until well blended. Pour spinach and cheese mix into the buttered casserole dish.

Level out the spinach mix. With a soup spoon carefully make 15 holes in the spinach mix. Crack the eggs into the holes, one yoke per hole. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake in the oven for about 55’ until the egg whites are cooked.

Part II – The Cheese sauce topping:

While the spinach and eggs are baking, prepare the cheese sauce.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour stirring constantly with a whisk. Once it is well combined, and while continuing to stir with the whisk, add the milk, in small amounts, as the flour absorbs it. Keep stirring until the sauce boils. Remove from the heat. Add cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne. Stir until well blended and set aside.

Final assembly:

Once the spinach and eggs are done, remove the casserole from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. While the oven is coming to temperature, spoon all of the cheese sauce (it will be thick) over the baked spinach and eggs. Put the casserole dish back in the oven, and bake for about 20’ until the cheese sauce begins to brown.

Let the Eggs Florentine Porfilio rest for 5’ before serving.

Together with breakfast potatoes (mixed with chopped onions) and some oatmeal rolls this is a very satisfying Sunday brunch.


This recipe for Eggs Florentine is named in honor of TFP member Frederick Vincent Porfilio who died in a car accident on Labor Day 1990 while on campaign, collecting signatures for the freedom of Lithuania from Soviet communism. He enjoyed making Eggs Florentine.

Mr. Fred Porfilio (center) collecting signatures during a street campaign in New York city in the summer of 1990 for the freedom of Lithuania, some three months prior to his death. He died in a car accident in Tennessee while leading a group of TFP members who were collecting signatures. A total of 5,212,580 valid signatures were collected by TFPs worldwide from May 31 to Oct. 15, 1990, making it the largest documented street petition drive for freedom in history, a fact that was duly registered in the 1993 Guinness Book of Records



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