Eggs Florentine Burger

Immediately after our daughter Violet was born, I purchased a life insurance policy with the idea that, in the case of my untimely demise, my wife and daughter would at least be able to console themselves in their time of grief by buying a new house or a car with a tan leather interior. As part of this process, the insurance company sent an elderly doctor to my house, to collect blood for a series of tests, in order to determine my monthly premium.

I was a little nervous; living outside the United States away from routine, scheduled medical care, coupled with my somewhat laissez-faire approach to physical wellness, as well as my penchant for scotch and cheese sauce, I wondered what kind of numbers I would see. What kind of havoc had I been wreaking on my internal organs for all these years?

As it turns out, the numbers weren’t bad. My cholesterol is a little high, but certainly not outside the realm of a lot of 34-year-olds. “It’s the kind of number you can probably reduce just by having a bowl of Cheerios every day,” my new doctor said.

“So,” I replied, “do you mean like eating rare hamburgers topped with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce?”

“No,” he said, “I don’t mean anything like that at all.”

This burger will kill you. I suggest defending yourself with a knife and fork.

Eggs Florentine Burgers

Eggs Florentine Burgers

Makes three burgers


For the burgers:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 hamburger buns, split
  • 3 eggs
  • Splash of white vinegar
  • 3 cups fresh spinach

For the Hollandaise:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste

Make the burgers: Divide beef into three equal balls, and flatten into hamburger patties. Try to work the beef with your hands as little as possible, just enough to shape the hamburger patties. Season both sides with salt and pepper, and cook in a skillet over high heat until medium rare, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Cook the spinach: Add a tablespoon of butter to the burger drippings. Add raw spinach and cook over medium heat until spinach begins to wilt.

Make the poached eggs: Crack an egg into small dish, and set aside. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water, and add a splash of white vinegar. Heat water over medium heat until millions of bubbles appear; the point just before the water starts to simmer. Reduce heat to low and, holding the edge of the small bowl with the egg as closely as possible to the nearly-simmering water, slip the egg into the water. Adjust heat as needed to keep water from boiling or simmering vigorously. Cook until yolks are just set, about four minutes, and remove with slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Make the Hollandaise:

  1. Fill a small saucepan with 2 inches of water, and place over medium heat. When water simmers, reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer, and place a small metal or heat-safe glass on top of the pan, as a double-boiler. Add egg yolks, mustard, and lemon juice, and whisk until combined.
  2. In a slow, steady stream, pour melted butter into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Using a candy thermometer, make sure egg yolks reach 140 degrees, then remove from heat. Keep whisking until sauce thickens, about three minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Finished sauce can be kept warm in a thermos, insulated coffee cup, or over very low heat, until ready to assemble.
Put it together: Place a cooked hamburger patty on the bottom of each bun. Top with some cooked spinach, a poached egg, and finish with a few spoonfuls of Hollandaise and a side of Lipitor.

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." He currently owns and operates the Ancho Honey restaurant in Maine.


  1. You’ve outdone yourself with these. I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea, however, to layer spinach, egg, then burger? That way all the fatty beef could render the spinach. Either way, an egg yolk makes an ideal partner to beef fat.

    1. Great idea, Adam. I sauteed the spinach in the beef drippings, but your idea saves a step. I would go spinach, then burger, then egg, so that the yolk and Hollandaise oozes into the beef.

  2. That is beautiful. Hopefully my Zocor can transmutate it and it will leave my body without depositing any additional cholesterol. This getting old business is serious, although I have more years and prescriptions than you.

    Where are all the people who commented on the last post? I feel like a stalker, a food stalker, but still.

    Oh, and I tried the watermelon, feta, and chile appetizer. Soo wonderful!

    1. Hi Trish! Yes, I don’t suggest eating this often. But once in a while can’t hurt, right? Gotta give those prescriptions something to do!

  3. Malcolm,
    I love this post! My husband did the exact same thing after our first daughter was born. . and because he KNEW his numbers would be bad, he went on a total health kick/may have even done a juice cleanse for a few weeks before he had to see the doctor. Because of all of that, his numbers were fine. . and then, after that appointment, he went right back into his old habits and way of eating. It was ok then b/c I didn’t have time to do anything about it BUT now, since I am cooking so much, we try to eat as healthy as possible (without denying ourselves some good, greasy food every once in a while). . . and I am adding this dish to my list! 1 1/2 sticks of butter, hey, why not? 🙂

    Photos look amazing!
    and love the Lipitor comment.

    1. Thanks Alice. One of the hardest things about getting older is realizing that you can’t just eat bacon and eggs at every meal anymore. It’s still an idea that I am adjusting to. 🙂

  4. Your doctor is wrong. Has he not heard of Rob Wolf and The Paleo Solution. Those Cheerios will kill you faster than a car crash. Do yourself a favour and either educate him or get a new one.

  5. Wow! Excellent. Only change I’d make would be to either use a toasted ‘real English muffin’ (not those Thomas brand things) or a toasted baguette slice with garlic rub…. Nonetheless, very inspiring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.