Eggs Sardou: The Decadent Breakfast You Need To Try

We eat a lot of foods named after people, including Caesar salad, fettuccine Alfredo, Graham crackers, and Eggs Benedict (per Insider). But a particularly lavish entry you may not know is Eggs Benedict's close relative, Eggs Sardou. 

This dish was invented in the 19th century at Antoine's, the oldest restaurant in New Orleans (per Taste Atlas). The dish's namesake is a French playwright, Victorien Sardou, who was in town at the time. Eggs Sardou is a perfect way to hone your culinary prowess, as it demands several exacting techniques and calls for a unique selection of salty and savory ingredients.

Eggs Sardou may have come into the widespread American consciousness via a 1985 New York Times article, whose author enjoyed it often and whose intrigued readers begged to know more details. Indeed, this is a rich, creamy creation worth replicating. Here's what's in it and how to cook it; it's worth the effort.

What is Eggs Sardou?

Eggs Sardou is a luxurious breakfast or brunch dish. The traditional Creole rendition of Antoine's fame is made up of poached eggs and creamed spinach over artichoke bottoms, topped with Hollandaise sauce, ham, anchovies, and black truffle, explain Taste Atlas. Is your mouth watering yet? 

The Gumbo Pages adds that the spinach basks in New Orleans-style béchamel sauce, while the aforementioned New York Times author thinks spinach may not have been part of the original creation.

As for the pork, some chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, call for prosciutto or Serrano ham in their Eggs Sardou recipes. On Antoine's Jazz Brunch menu, the meat is listed as "tasso ham" — a fatty smoked meat described by Cajun Grocer as a Louisiana specialty made from pork shoulder — so it's not technically ham. (But, hey, the Canadian bacon that's used in Eggs Benedict isn't technically bacon or ham, either.)

How to make classic Eggs Sardou

To create this culinary masterpiece, you'll need to trim an artichoke, poach eggs, and ensure your hollandaise doesn't break. But who doesn't like a kitchen challenge? 

Begin by simmering your artichoke bottoms until they're tender and cool enough to remove the chokes. Then, cook the onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat until softened, adding spinach and stirring frequently, then folding in your béchamel sauce. Make your hollandaise sauce, poach your eggs, and assemble the plate as follows: spinach, artichoke, Hollandaise, eggs, and more hollandaise, suggests Emeril Lagasse.

Eggs Sardou stands as a meal on its own, but it can also be served with shrimp and grits and slathered with more hot sauce, which is a big deal in Louisiana. And don't forget Taste Atlas's recommendation to pair Eggs Sardou with a white wine that's just a tad on the sweet side. You'll need it to cut through all that decadence.