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Stewed Spinage and Eggs

Watch our historic foodways staff cook this recipe, then try it at home

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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