The Dafne Garden Cafè is the delightful bar open to the public of a boutique hotel named Apollo, which is in Rome in Prati area, a stone's throw from Lepanto. Inaugurated in full lockdown, it can be said that they have already suffered the torture of the vengeful God and that now their love can rather sail towards a happy ending. Meanwhile, the evil Cupid who fires gold and lead arrows seems to have kept the latter in the quiver. Everyone fell in love with this corner of the Prati district, where a small terrace nestled between ministerial buildings has become a small urban jungle.
Accomplice of falling in love, Federico Cari, a pastry chef temporarily lent mostly to savory, who has developed Dafne's menu, from breakfast to aperitif. It is for the lunch appointment that Daphne expresses herself best at the moment, with perfect delicacies for a lunch break more or less light, depending on the delicacy. Federico Cari has in fact created a menu of gourmet sandwiches and more, which includes the Club Sandwich in two versions. The first is the one that follows tradition, the second is his idea that caused a sensation: the Veg Club, layered sandwich like the carnivorous brother, but in a vegetarian version, played on contrasts of color and flavor, between zucchini, tomatoes and aubergines.
He gave us the recipe to try to create magic at home. But the advice is to try the original first.
Vegetarian Club Sandwich: recipe for 2 Veg Club
3 large slices of wholemeal sandwich bread
3 organic dark skinned eggplants (not too big)
6 organic courgettes
½ red onion
2 organic "ribbed" unripe tomatoes (the classic sandwich tomato)
Classic (or slightly mustard) mayonnaise
Extra virgin olive oil
(the preparations can also be made well in advance and kept in the fridge)
For the courgette cream:
Use 3 courgettes for this preparation. Cut the courgettes eliminating part of the white inside, slice them thin. In a pan put the julienne sliced onion, extra virgin olive oil and fry gently, add the zucchini and sauté until they are tender, but not overcooked. Immediately blend the courgettes with three basil leaves when hot, possibly adding a little water to make the cream very smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the baked vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C in ventilated mode. Prepare two trays lined with parchment paper, cut the aubergines into slices about ½ cm thick or a little more, spread them in the pan and season with oil and salt. Cut the courgettes into thick slices lengthwise, spread them out in the pan and season with oil and salt. Bake for 20 minutes, lightly browning both vegetables. Leave them to cool at room temperature.
Preparation of the "Veg" Club
Toast the slices of wholemeal bread on both sides and set aside. Slice the tomatoes to a thickness of about ½ centimeter and lightly dab them with excess water with the help of a kitchen cloth or absorbent paper. Spread all three slices of sandwich bread with a little mayonnaise and then with plenty of zucchini cream: one of these slices will be the cover of the Club Veg then keep it aside because it will only serve at the end. Arrange four slices of tomato on each of the two slices of bread, cover with the baked aubergines and then with the zucchini spread horizontally, overlapping them slightly to create a compact and uniform layer. Sprinkle each slice with the mix of fresh herbs cut into julienne or coarsely chopped. Place a few more courgette cream flakes to finish. Overlap the two layers one on top of the other (as if it were a multi-storey cake!) And close with the slice of bread that is left aside. Lightly squeeze this "turret" with the palm of your hand, remove the external crust of the sandwich bread using a well-sharp serrated bread knife and then cut the Club into two large rectangles. Toast the sandwich again for a few moments before serving. At will, complete each slice of Club Veg with a little cream of courgettes and other aromatic herbs.