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15 mins

The Wi Cookbook
Surrey Federation Chairman Joan Lash was obviously a forward thinker. In her introduction to The Surrey Chicken, published in 1965, she looked ahead to the new millennium. ‘The year 2000 is rushing towards us’ she wrote, ‘we hear of automation for this and that, but surely as long as women are women, there is one aspect... in which they will always want to have a hand… the preparation of food’. The encompassing nature of that role is summed up in the topics covered – luxury dishes for the single- handed hostess, cooking for the invalid tray, supper dishes and so on.
We’ve chosen to update this supper dish by baking the eggs rather than hard-boiling them first – making them lighter to eat. You could top the dish with a ready-made cheese sauce as in the original recipe but cream and grated Parmesan are simpler.

Serves 2 or 4 as a starter . Preparation 15 minutes . Cook 10–12 minutes

Posted by Ebury Publishing Published See Ebury Publishing's 80 projects » © 2023 Mary Gwynn / Ebury Press · Reproduced with permission. · Extracted from The WI Cookbook by Mary Gywnn (Ebury Press, hardback £20). Photography by Jan Baldwin
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/gas mark 5. Tear the spinach leaves from their stalks and place in a large pan with any water from washing. Cook, covered for a couple of minutes until the spinach is wilted. Drain thoroughly, pressing out any excess liquid and then return to the pan with half the butter, nutmeg and seasoning. Mix well.

  • Step 2

    Divide the spinach between two buttered shallow gratin dishes (or four large ramekins). Make a well in the spinach, break in the eggs and season. Spoon over the cream. Sprinkle with Parmesan and dot with the remaining butter. Bake for 10–12 minutes until the eggs
    are just set. Serve with crispy bread to mop up any juices.

    Eggs with spinach
    Chop cooked spinach and put in an oven dish. Make wells in the spinach in which to place whole or halved hard boiled eggs. Cover with a cheese sauce. Heat under grill as required. Burstow W.I.

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