Healthy Eating Recipes

Poached Egg on Spinach

Poached Egg on Spinach

Spinach is an impressively versatile ingredient. Graced with heaps of inimitable flavour and significant nutritional value – a trait famously demonstrated by Popeye – this superfood has no trouble stamping its unique mark on many a dish. Despite this, simplicity is the key when attempting to unlock the full potential of spinach; a knob of butter is all that is necessary to bring to the fore its vibrant colour and delicious, though complex, flavour. Once wilted, this iron and calcium rich plant serves very well as a topping for toast, morning, noon and night – throw an expertly poached egg into the equation and what you have is a meal fit for any occasion.

Poaching an egg can be a tricky business if one knows not how to go about it. Simply cracking an egg into boiling water is more likely to land you with a shapeless, watery mound, than it is a firm white with every bit of its integrity intact. Of course, one could cheat and buy  an egg poacher, but where’s the fun in that? No, the best way to poach an egg is thus: crack the egg into a ramekin and add a dash of white wine vinegar; bring a deep pan of water to the boil and whisk it vigorously, but carefully, in one direction; gently tip the egg into the water from as low a height as possible, turn down the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Following these instructions will, I assure you, make your egg poaching skills the wonder of you neighbourhood – stray children will appear and breakfast will never be the same again.

Poached Egg on Spinach

If you’re interested in another of my recipes that explores the combination of spinach and egg, please refer to these individual egg and spinach bakes.

Local connection: If you happen to live in Bristol, which I don’t suppose many of you do, I highly recommend visiting Mark’s Bread in Bedminster and Arch House Deli in Clifton, they sell/make cracking bread and cheese, respectively.

Poached Egg on Spinach {recipe}

Serves 1


• 1 slice of sourdough bread, though any will do

• A generous handful of fresh spinach

• 20g salted butter

• Pepper

• 1 egg

• A little parmesan

• A drizzle of rapeseed oil


1. Add a knob of butter to a heavy based pan and bring up to temperature – heat until the froth has subsided. Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil and poach your egg according to the above instructions.

Poached Egg on Spinach

2. Ready your toast and transfer your beautifully poached egg to a plate or paper towel. Quickly wilt the spinach in the butter, adding a twist of black pepper – do not crucify it. Place the spinach on top of your toast, pop the egg on top of that and finish the divine article with a swift grate of parmesan cheese and a frugal drizzle of rapeseed oil.

Poached Egg on Spinach

Cost: This dish may sound a little fancy, but if one uses good quality ingredients in moderation it is perfectly easy to sustain their presence in your pantry. Rapeseed oil is a little on the pricey side, especially if you get the pressed variety, but it should only be used as a drizzle, or perhaps in a dressing. Besides, it has such a powerful flavour that it would probably ruin most of your everyday cooking. Indeed, if this rule is adhered to, there’s no reason a meal of this quality should set one back more than £1 or so.

87 replies on “Poached Egg on Spinach”

Your recipes give soul food a whole new connotation. They are positively redolent with the essence of soul. You manage to make me want to eat everything that you post which is a HUGE feat considering I am vegan and most of what you post contains at least one egg ;). From your base ingredients that are sterling representitives of the ingredient world, through the processes of preparation to the end result, which has more to do with the fantastic combinations than your lovely new camera, your love of food shines through. Simply delicious and incredibly rewarding. Now I want poached eggs! Comfort food from my childhood :)… I have to admit…I don’t think I would have been as keen on the spinach underneath when I was a kid ;)…”Stray children will appear”…eh?!!!! I had best leave the poached eggs off the menu then! I wouldn’t want any of the local urchins to have to traverse our horrifically steep driveway in zombi like hoardes just to get to these scrumptious eggs!

I need an active imagination living out here in the sticks…otherwise I would go mad! ;). I trawl the net looking for good facimiles of comfort food and try to feed my poor long suffering expat husband something approximating good old blighty tucker with our antipodean ingredients…its a tough job but someone has to do it! 😉

Eggs are my favorite. Full stop! But especially poached. AND I’ve become seriously addicted to spinach this week. I’ve been wilting it in butter with a ton of mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and way too much pepper. It’s so good. Next time I’m going to add a poached egg. That would make it perfect!

Love this! I went through a phase of eating eggs with spinach all the time. At the moment, it’s just two plain poached eggs for breakfast…but wow, I can’t go without them!

I love this line: “Following these instructions will, I assure you, make your egg poaching skills the wonder of you neighbourhood – stray children will appear and breakfast will never be the same again.” Amazing! In the Joy of Cooking, it refers to the whisking of your poached egg water as a “swirling vortex,” which took me a little while to figure out what that meant:)

That truly is an expertly poached egg – I’ve had similar luck cracking my egg into a metal ladle, and lowering the ladle gradually into gently simmering water… it can prove a little tricky to get the egg out of the ladle once poached this way, though. I’ll have to try your method in the future! Also, I am a spinach fiend… even as a child I loved the stuff! This dish is heaven to me. (As an aside, my apologies for not stopping by in so long – your site looks great since I last visited! I’ll head back and read through some of your previous posts to get caught up.)

I love eggs but can’t poach to save my life I’ve tried yOur method but can do it…

Ps I live 5 mins from arch house deli!!

I often get stuff for my foodie penal box there 🙂 there’s another nice health food shop just by tesco on whiteladies

will be trying this for my breakfast tomorrow. My usual weekly Sunday treat is poached eggs microwaved (sorry sorry blush hangs head in shame) so thanks for this new take on it.

To be clear, I will not beat the children. I will, however, do everything in my power to get to your breakfast table before they do. Maybe I’ll just strew candy on your sidewalk and that’ll distract them.

Interesting egg poaching technique! I’ve only heard of adding the vinegar into the water and not the egg. Also, after you swirl the water, do you pour the egg into the vortex in the middle, or on the sides that are swirling? I’ve poured my eggs into the vortex before, and it just flung the egg white apart. Now I poach my eggs in still, simmering water and it works a treat. I don’t get that beautiful plump shape that you got in your photo though! And thanks for stopping by my blog!

I had a similar meal at the Dashunabe Tea House in Boulder this week. The greens were poached in a type of tea. the eag and greens were placed atop a garbanzo bean ball in a lovely tomato sauce. YUM love poached eggs atop anything.


The egg is king (due to the egg factory coop at the bottom of the garden) and there is always someone poaching, frying or scrambling an egg in our kitchen. Owning chickens is pretty frugal as the live mainly on scraps and you can often get these for free from your local grocer/market as they will throw away the old stuff (That is if you don’t produce enough of your own). And if you have too many you can always sell them to your neighbour making them even more of a frugal friend.

If you have to buy them always get the best you can afford is it really makes a difference to taste. Just think pale yolked tiny cage egg vs big orange glossy yolks from happy, well fed, free range chickens. In fact, I may just have to go and poach one right now.

Inimitable. Yes, sir! (Hadn’t tried the vinegar trick yet — was thinking tarragon vinegar would be a nice variation?) Your comment about stray children showing up at your door made me laugh long and loud. Thanks for the great start to Valentine’s Day — breakfast & reading-wise.

Fascinating, rapeseed oil here, is renamed canola oil (I guess someone in marketing thought rapeseed didn’t sound very nice), which is commonly referred to as one of the most neutral tasting oils, even when freshly pressed.

Whatever it is though, the egg and spinach are beautiful Frugal!

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