The River Café is a quintessential piece of London’s fine dining history, setting the bar for high-end Italian eateries throughout the city. Travel the path of this storied restaurant with culinary legends Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, and recreate some of their most famous dishes at home. This bruschetta with mozzarella and spinach makes a great light midday meal.
In our private dining room at The River Cafe, we put antipasti on large plates to pass around the table. Put the bruschetta on one plate, with others for spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella, or other seasonal vegetables.
- 7 ounces washed spinach leaves
- 1 large ball mozzarella (about 9 ounces)
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
- 7 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce picked mixed fresh summer herb leaves, to include marjoram and basil
- 1-2 olives, optional
For the bruschetta
Blanch the spinach in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute or until wilted. Drain well, pressing out excess water.
Tear the mozzarella onto two plates.
Grill the bread over charcoal or on a char-grill/griddle pan until nicely browned on both sides. Remove from the grill and rub generously with the garlic clove.
Squash the tomatoes onto the bruschetta (discard the tomato skin), then season well with sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Put the bruschetta on the plates.
In a bowl, season the drained spinach. Toss with ¼–½ cup (50–100ml) extra virgin olive oil.
Arrange the spinach on the plates alongside the mozzarella and bruschetta. Drizzle with any remaining olive oil and add the herbs—plus an olive or two if you have them.