I’ve been thinking about my Mum a lot recently. This time of year is always a difficult one with a triple whammy of emotional dates in tow. Valentines day, the anniversary of her death, shortly followed by her birthday on the 14th of March and then Mother’s day a few weeks after that.
It’s been four years now and without wanting to sound like a cliché, it really is true when people say time is the greatest healer. I think about her everyday, especially when I’m cooking, but this year is the first year I can look back without having to leave the room full of tears. And this is why I’d like to share this recipe with you – Spinach and Eggs. It doesn’t sound that appetising and that’s exactly what my 5 year old self thought when I had to eat it once a week without fail. My Mum used to make this dish every Friday before I went to my ballet class. I used to ask her ‘Why do we eat this EVERY Friday’ and she replied, “Because it’ll make you strong and help you concentrate at your ballet class.” She was so happy when putting the plate down in front of me, I never had the heart to tell her I didn’t like it. So I sat there week upon week and ate it without saying a word. It didn’t stop being served until I stopped going to ballet class. My Mum never found out, until one day I must of been about 17, she was cooking the dish for that evening’s dinner and I said, “You know Mum, I never actually liked spinach and eggs.” She was well and truly shocked and said, “What? Why didn’t you tell me?” We sat down to eat and I thought to myself actually this isn’t so bad after all. And now when I eat it, it reminds me of her.
100g Cheddar Cheese (grated)
25g Plain flour
A grating of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
Oven 180c Serves 4
- Hard-boil the eggs.
- Whilst the eggs are cooking sauté the spinach in a pan with a tiny bit of water until softened. Drain the excess water and leave the spinach aside until needed.
- Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a pan on a low heat. Add the flour and mix into the melted butter using a balloon whisk. When it becomes a sandy texture take the pan off the heat. Slowly add the milk (off the heat) mixing as you go. Once all the milk is added put the pan back on to the heat and continue to mix until it starts to boil and is thickened. Turn off the heat.
- Add 60g of the grated cheese to the sauce and mix until it melts. Also at this point add a grating of nutmeg and some seasoning.
- Peel the boiled eggs, slice in half lengthways and place in a medium sized ovenproof dish.
- Put the cooked spinach into the pan with the sauce and mix. Pour over the eggs. Finish by adding the rest of the grated cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
- Serve with some crusty white bread and butter.