Olive Oil-Black Pepper Gelato for Movies & Munchies and Eat Pray Love

I have a confession.  I had totally (and utterly) forgotten that I was hosting the April round for Movies & Munchies.    I am truly beginning to wonder about myself.

But, I did realize (on April 28) that it was ME I had to answer to if my post was a little late.   I guess that brought me a bit of comfort.

I am hosting the April feature for Movies & Munchies, Eat Pray Love, the 2010 film staring Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem and James Franco (among others).

Eat Pray Love - Movie - Where To Watch

So, here we go with the very belated  announcement post and my contribution for the April feature film and the roundup.  (I did at least post to Movies & Munchies FB group in time for a few members to participate.)

Obviously, my memory is suffering, but I remember loving the book and adoring the film.   After rereading the book (for a tandem Lit Happens event), I found out that I hate the book and I just like the film.   A lot of things happen in thirteen plus years.  Perspectives change.  Life happens.

Let me say that I found the book a whine fest.   I just wanted to shout, “Grow the ‘F’ up!”   Obviously in 2007 (when the book was published and when I first read it), I was in a totally different place.   Now, I have no patience for someone who got a $200,000 book advance to travel the world, eat pasta, and “cherry-pick” spirituality.  And, did she not know that she was being played a fool at times?

Sorry for that rant.  On to the film.  I did like the film better.  Julia Roberts is as pleasant as ever.  The film shows Liz in a much better light.

Most of the food in the film is focused on the Italian culture—pasta, cappuccinos, charcuterie, pastries, pizza.   I did love the simple meal (also featured in the book) that Liz savors for herself:  asparagus, eggs, olives and peppers.  The “authentic” Thanksgiving feast was also humorous.

I had to go with gelato.  Gelato figures more into the book than the film, I think.  (But, you can see Julia enjoying some in the movie poster above.)

Total aside:   I once spent over six hours at Love Field in Dallas waiting on a flight to Austin that was first delayed for mechanical issues and then cancelled because of weather.  I walked the terminals over and over again and discovered a delicious gelato place that offered Olive Oil-Black Pepper gelato.  I had to try some.  I’ve been meaning to recreate that dish ever since.

If nothing else, Eat Pray Love gave me the excuse to try it.


Olive Oil-Black Pepper Gelato

Debra (based on Olive Oil Gelato)

This may be an acquired taste.


  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 3/4 c. whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 t. coarse ground pepper


  1. In a medium-size saucepan stir together the sugar, water, milk, and salt and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan (and sugar is dissolved).
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer,  beat the egg yolks until frothy. Once milk mixture is heated through and sugar is dissolved, carefully and slowly pour into mixer while mixer is running.   Add vanilla.  Return the mixture to the pan. Stir constantly over low to medium-low heat until the custard thickens slightly or reaches 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  3. Immediately pour the custard into a bowl and set the bowl in an ice water bath. Stir until the mixture is cool. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin steady stream — the mixture should thicken and turn smooth.   Add pepper.
  5. Churn in an ice cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions. Eat right away, or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to eat.

Yield: 2-4

I’ve been playing around a lot with olive oil recently.  There’s the Pomegranate-Olive Oil Tart that I posted on May 1st.  (That crust is amazing.)

This is good gelato and some might want to add more olive oil or black pepper to the recipe.  It makes a small amount which was perfect for us.  (Two larger servings or four smaller “tastings.”)  I served it with a slice of ripe pear.

Now for the Round-Up!

Amy’s Cooking Adventures was first to post.  She is not a fan of either the book or the film.

The movie was pretty universally panned on Rotten Tomatoes and I have to agree. I read the book first and hated it (you’ll have to wait for that review, because the recipe I’m making will take some experimentation). But, I decided to give the movie a shot anyway and nearly perished from sheer boredom. It was just as insufferable and fake as the book and ridiculously long.

I can’t wait to see what she posts for the book.   For the film, she whipped up some Italian Herb Blend (which I’m pinning for holiday gifts.)

Wendy from A Day in the Life on  Farm was next up with Crespelle.  She was inspired by Italy as well.   CrespelleWendy pointed out some great quotes and perspective from the film and she also is re-reading the book for Lit Happens.

I had read this book many years ago, prior to my blogging days, and had forgotten how brutally honest Gilbert is about herself and her struggles.  The movie isn’t able to show Gilbert’s self dialogue so I didn’t connect with her in the film as much as on the page.

Make sure you pop over to see her Crespelle as a finished cheesy, tomato-ey pasta bake.  (Also check out her post for the book, Spring Berry Gelato.)


Thanks to Amy and Wendy for playing along!

BTW, I’m hosting Lessons In Chemistry April/May’s Cook the Books by Bonnie Garmus and Horse  by Geraldine Brooks for May’s Lit Happens if you’re interested.  (I have both of these events on my calendar!)

To end on a better note regarding Gilbert, I will say that I do enjoy her fiction like City of Girls.

2 comments to Olive Oil-Black Pepper Gelato for Movies & Munchies and Eat Pray Love

  • I didn’t mind watching the film again. I didn’t finish the book before it was due back which is an indication that I was not enjoying it. I did however LOVE Lessons in Chemistry and I really liked Horse but found it very disturbing, especially the end of the book. I do love historical fiction but I am ashamed that our current events are going to become our children’s and grandchildren’s historical fiction. We don’t show in a very good light…….so sad.

    • I agree. It took me a while to wrap my head around the ending of Horse. I’m still working through Chemistry.