It’s a new month and we are doing A Fork & A Flick Friday. For this first Friday of the month we are featuring Eat Pray Love. The famous 2010 movie starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, is originally a book based on the life of author Elizabeth Gilbert. This year is the 10th anniversary of the publication of Eat Pray Love and the film premiered August of 2010, so I thought it deserved a bit of acknowledgement this month with it being August and as Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorites.
So, right off the bat, I must say that this post and the recipe I’m about to provide is not of the movie alone, but incorporates much more which the movie failed to include. Isn’t that the case when most great novels are made into books?
Eat Pray Love
So, Eat Pray Love is about Gilbert’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia. After a painful divorce, followed by a failed rebound relationship that left the educated, self-made, successful writer devastated and alone, she embarked on journey around the world. She spent four months in Italy, eating and enjoying life (“Eat”). She spent three months in India at an Ashram, finding her spirituality (“Pray”). She ended the year in Indonesia, looking for “balance” of the two and fell in love with a Brazilian businessman (“Love”).
All in all, I believe the fabulous locations and Julia Roberts glamorizes the film more than the book. The book is a great summer beach read. Like many critics, I found the India portion of the trip weakest in both the film and the book. In regard to Bali, Indonesia, I found the film to have missed a large perspective on the Indonesian people that Gilbert captures beautifully in the book. The film once again, did a lovely job on Italy but missed so much of it as well. It is the Italian travels that makes this movie and book a foodie film or read.
If you watch the movie before reading the book (spoiler alert) you will never know that Gilbert in actuality goes to several regions of Italy from her base in Rome. As a matter of fact, she states that it was in Sicily, the poorest part of Italy, that she had one of the best meals of her life yet. So, I had to go on the search for a Sicilian dish that I could make. Now, I know that one of the most memorable scenes in the film is a trip to Naples for true Neapolitan Pizza that is absolutely mouthwatering. But, c’mon…I do not live in Naples, nor am I from Naples. So, why would I even bother trying to make pizza from Naples, which obviously would taste nothing like it. You could say the same thing about Sicilian food, but in this case I came across a recipe that seemed a bit more reasonable and probable to succeed, and since it involves watermelon, I could not help but take it on for this watermelon month.
Gelo Di Anguria (Sicilian Watermelon Pudding)
Sicilian Watermelon Pudding or Gelo Di Anguria seems like the most fitting summer dessert at the moment. It’s a beautiful pink hued Sicilian dessert that is traditionally served studded with seed-shaped pieces of bitter chocolate in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. With the amount of Gelato that she indulged in, I can imagine Elizabeth Gilbert treating herself to Gelo Di Anguria in a small Palermo café.
1 (3lb.) seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
½ cup sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Roughly chopped pistachios, semisweet chocolate, and ground cinnamon, to garnish
- Puree the watermelon chunks in a blender. Set aside.
- Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart saucepan. While whisking, drizzle in pureed watermelon. Bring the watermelon mixture to a boil over medium heat, while stirring constantly and scraping bottom with a wooden spoon. Boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour the watermelon mixture into a 2-quart bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. To serve, flip pudding into a serving plate (it will slide right out) or spoon the pudding into small serving bowls.
- Garnish with pistachios and chocolate. Dust with the cinnamon.