Eggs baked with spinach and ham

A little English ham completes the classic oeufs en cocotte à la florentine, but you can leave it out for the more traditional version, or if you have a vegetarian coming round.

I often eat this on a Sunday night. It’s one of the most comforting suppers in the world.

Serves 2


30g butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
250g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
75ml double cream
2 tbsps freshly grated Parmesan
4 large eggs
2mm slice of English cured ham

Preheat the oven to 180 C, and boil about a litre of water in the kettle.

In a saucepan, melt 20g butter over a medium heat, and add the shallot. Sauté gently until soft, then add the spinach and nutmeg. Cook the spinach for a couple of minutes until it starts to wilt, and add the cream. Let everything bubble gently for about five minutes, so that the cream thickens and the spinach is ready. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste.

Grease four ramekins with a little butter and lightly season them on the inside. Add a heaped tablespoon of the spinach mix into each one, and top with a slice of the ham, either trimmed to fit or, as I do, in lightly overlapping pieces. Carefully break an egg into each ramekin, top with a little dot of butter, and season with salt and pepper.

Bring the kettle back to the boil. Put the ramekins in a deep roasting tin and place on the middle shelf in the oven. Make a bain-marie by pouring boiling water from the kettle into the tin until the ramekins are half-submerged. Bake them until the whites set and the yolks are still runny: anything between 7 and 12 minutes. Serve immediately with hot buttered toast.

7 thoughts on “Eggs baked with spinach and ham

  1. Pingback: Consider the egg | The Guardian Reader

  2. Actually if you puncture the wide end of the egg with a needle or an egg-pricker (yes , there is such a thing) the shell doesn’t break even when immersed into boiling water. The small air-sac can discharge it’s air through the hole but the membranes surrounding the white remain intact.

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