Stewed Spinage and Eggs

These two ingredients have gone together for ages. This simple classic combination with the orange added is light fare for breakfast, or as an addition for lunch and dinner.

18th Century

Pick and wash your spinage very clean, put it into a saucepan, with a little salt, cover it close, shake the pan often, when it is just tender, and whilst it is green, throw it into a sieve to drain, lay it into your dish. In the meantime have a stew pan of water boiling, break as many eggs into cups as you would poach. When the water boils put in the eggs, have an egg slice ready to take them out with, lay them on the spinage, and garnish the dish with orange cut into quarters, with melted butter in a cup.

Glasse, Hannah, “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy”

21st Century

  • A large handful of spinach
  • Salt
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 1 orange
  • ½ stick of butter (optional)
  1. Put your spinach in a saucepan with a pinch or two of salt. Add a couple of tablespoons of water (this is optional but it helps to keep the spinach from scorching). On medium heat, blanch the spinach, remove and drain while it is still a good green color. Place on your plate.
  2. Poach your eggs either in cups or in water as shown, trimming excess white from the edge of the eggs. Place them evenly on your spinach.
  3. Garnish with quartered orange. Butter melted in a cup goes well with this but is optional. This is a very simple dish but has good flavors.

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7 Responses to “Stewed Spinage and Eggs”

  1. August 24th, 2012

    Chris Hansley says:

    To the Foodways crew,

    This is not a diet buster as long as one uses the butter sparingly. Good simple food. Popeye would approve.

    Hope to see more fall recipes with seasonal produce. Is there a Squash and Pear soup recipe from the 18th Century. I had this soup at the cafe at the Art Institute in Chicago, but could not get a recipe. The squash was orange in color. And both the squash and pear were pureed.

    Have a great Labor Day next weekend.

    Thanks and please keep those recipes coming,

    • August 27th, 2012

      Historic Foodways says:

      Thanks for the suggestions, Chris. We do have some things that reflect seasonality, and others not. Of course seasons are different according to locale and the resulting foodstuffs will be there. Some of our recipe books list seasonal suggestions and others don’t. Appreciate your additions.

  2. August 27th, 2012

    Charles says:

    I was wondering about the junior internship position that possibly will be opening. Everybody I have talked to say I have to live in the Williamsburg area. I live in Richmond and already have a commitent to be down in Williamsburg twice a week and am homeschooled so my schedule is flexible. Any advice will help.

  3. August 28th, 2012

    I have to agree,Chris. However, my really low (107.5 lbs.) does not need to “bust” any diet. Maybe when and if I get as large as my lovely Grandmother was, I will need to worry about the amount and quantity of my food.

    I will definitely try the ‘Spinach and Eggs’ dish.


  4. August 29th, 2012

    pam williams says:

    I always feel gratified when I’ve made something you all post —– sorta validates me 🙂

    This is a LOVELY receipt – and it’s very easy and quick. It “eats” very nicely…

    And, if you are sparing with the butter — it is absolutely NOT a diet buster!
    Ms. Pammy

  5. August 30th, 2012

    Christine Hansley says:

    We tried this last night for dinner. It was a quick and light meal on a hot night. I used only 1 tablespoon of butter lightly drizzled over the spinach. I had one and my husband had two small crusty rolls with it. It was great.
    This recipe is easily adjusted for the number to be served. This could be used as a first course with one egg per person. Either pre-plated or passed.

    Donna, I wish I could remember when I was that light. I think that was around 1970. I now look like my and your grandmother. It’s all in the genes. You can’t hide from them.

    Everyone have a great and safe long weekend,

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