Lil’ Italy in RVA

Can I just say how happy I am that it’s fall? Crisp air and new beginnings. Everyone makes a big hoopla about all the girls loving fall. It really is one of the best seasons – especially for food – makes me so excited! Fall is a sign of new beginning, the last leg before the new year. Even the trees are telling us things are about to change. It is really beautiful!

Named to be the best sandwiches in Richmond in 2015 and years before, Coppola’s has been a Richmond staple for over 30 years now. It is a delicatessen if I have ever seen one. It sort of looks like a hole in the wall, something you’d see in New York, aside from the huge Coppola’s in the window.

I had the pleasure of enjoying this meal with my big and one of my best friends, Hannah. This was her first time enjoying this great spot. I had previously had a salad and boy was that thing piled high with goodies. Although that was almost two years ago, I remember it being a great salad so I was excited when I finally got the chance to enjoy it again.

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I got the Industrial, their equivalent to the Italian. This puppy was piled high with deli meat, which was delicious. The meat had great flavor. And the provolone was perfectly melty. The house cured peppers on top were awesome. They added a different element to this sandwich and gave it a little kick. Per usual, my favorite part was the bread. The thing that literally holds it all together. It was nice and crusty on the outside, but the inside was soft, making it the perfect accent to this sandwich.

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Coppola’s claims to be a little taste of Italy. To me, with the fresh ingredients, this statement is held to be true. This spot is prime for your lunch time meal or if you’re looking for a darn good sandwich.

Fall Roasting: Tomatoes

These last few weeks have been crazy! I am getting off of an 20 work day streak. I finally got a day off on Saturday. Why? The Union Cycliste Internationale bike race championships were in Richmond this year. The world came to Richmond that week.

It was amazing to think that of all the places they could have held the race, they chose to do it in the city I have called home for four years now. Not to mention, there were Belgians everywhere. Because they really really love cycling in Belgium. I made a few friends. It was an awesome experience to be a part of. Unfortunately, my life became all consumed by work for the last few weeks.

I have been on this roasting kick lately. It’s fall so somehow it seems fitting. Like my roasted red peppers, roasting different foods, besides chicken – see later posts – is quite easy. Ridiculously so that I’m surprised more people don’t do it on the regular. Roasting is easy and it also adds another depth of flavor to the ingredients in whatever you are making.

One of my favorites so far and one of the easiest to make is roasted tomatoes. I may start making it at the beginning of the week just to use throughout the week. Roasted tomatoes are a great and easy way to add some spunk to your meals. With pasta, on salads and most importantly, added to grilled cheeses.

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Ingredients:

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoons assorted herbs to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Set your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the tomatoes and chop all of them in half. Place cut tomatoes in a bowl. Add the olive oil and herbs. Stir and once finished, put the tomatoes on a cookie sheet. Roast them in the oven for about 12 minutes.

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Ever since I discovered the homemade Boursin cheese recipe, it’s been hard to find a time where my refrigerator didn’t have a jar of it sitting inside. It is legitimately the secret to a good grilled cheese. The combo of the creamy Boursin with the roasted tomato flavor and the melty havarti and pesto Gouda. The flavor is delicious.

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I suggest trying this recipe with other veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and definitely potatoes – the cook time will vary for each but the concept will be the same.

Like I said, roasting food is fun, easy, and not to mention, delicious! This is only part one of my three part roasting series. The others will explore some techniques not as simple as the above.