I took a classic croque-madame and turned it on its head adding spinach to the béchamel and replaced the ham with smoked salmon. It was too damned delicious. This is winter comfort food at its best and perfect for breakfast or lunch.

croque madame with spinach and salmon

Croque monsieur is a French bistro classic and when covered in a cheesy béchamel sauce with a lightly fried or poached egg on top it becomes a Croque Madame. I used a buttermilk rye bread because I prefer using an interesting loaf to make a sandwich of this stature. It also holds together when frying.  Any nice country loaf or sourdough would be equally as good, even a bread that is going stale would work as the stint in the bubbling butter will bring it back to delicious life.

Instead of adding the béchamel to the top, I made a thick white sauce to which I added a really nice sharp cheese. Emmental, Comté, Gruyère or aged Cheddar work well here. I love Dijon so gave it a good dose of that, and then added my blanched baby spinach leaves to the mix to make an almost paste-like spread. I love lightly smoked trout as an alternative to smoked salmon too and used about 45 grams per sandwich. You can be as generous or as skimpy as you like.

The sauce can be made in advance and then all that is needed is to fry your eggs gently in butter and toast your sandwiches before you serve. It’s best to work with two pans here so you can time things so they finish cooking simultaneously and everything is nice and hot.

croque madame with spinach and salmon

Any leftover sauce makes a great filling for toasted cheese. You can check out this favourite recipe of mine with Cheddar and buttery braised leeks. I mean who doesn’t just love toasted cheese in any permutation?

Recipe (The bechamel sauce makes enough for about 6 – 8 sandwiches)

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croque madame with spinach and smoked salmon

croque madame with spinach and salmon

I delicious twist in a French bistro classic with this recipe for croque madame with spinach and smoked salmon.

  • Author: Sam Linsell
Scale

Ingredients

Béchamel

200g baby spinach leaves

50gm butter

1/4 cup flour + 2 tablespoons

1 cup milk

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

50g sharp cheese of your choice

salt and pepper

For each sandwich, you will need

2 slices of bread – fairly thickly sliced

1 fried egg per sandwich

40m – 50gm smoked salmon

Butter to spread on the outside slices

a generous scoop of the spinach béchamel

Instructions

Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling salted water for three minutes, set aside and drain. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out all excess water with your hand and then roughly chop.

Melt the butter in a small pot and add the flour, stir to form a roux. Add the milk in parts stirring constantly to prevent lumps. I prefer to use a whisk for this. Add the Dijon and season with salt and pepper. When the raw flour has been cooked out, add the chopped spinach and cheese and allow this to cook briefly and the cheese to melt. Set aside.

When you are ready to serve, spread butter on the outer sides of the assembled sandwich and fry in a medium-hot skillet until golden brown. While that’s on the go, fry an egg for each sandwich and place it on top.

Keywords: croque, madame, spinach, smoked salmon, recipe

croque madame with spinach and salmon

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14 Comments

  1. This would be the perfect lunch for me right now. Looks so great, I can almost taste it ! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  2. First i have to stop drooling this looks fantastic!!! I could eat this for anytime of the day which i find a win! win! The Bechamel sauce alone is making me hungry and the cheeses you choose wonderful…!!!!!!

  3. mathilde

    I’ve done it for lunch, but instead of doing a bechamel i added creme fraiche to the spinach and a bit of red onion, Veryyyyyy good recipe! i recommand it

  4. lucyparissi

    The most gorgeous photography – and you just want to pick this up and eat it.

  5. Sam

    Thank you so much for the kind words Lucy

  6. Hi Sam, your photos are beautiful, recipes are innovative and sound delicious….print on the pages barely readable. Thanks for your ideas.
    P.s. happy new year?

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