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Read It and Eat It: Queen of the Air and peach bruschetta

A perfect combo for the daredevil in you.

Dean Jensen’s Queen of the Air is a true life Water for Elephants. Gorgeously written, it’s the true story of renowned trapeze artist and circus performer Leitzel, Queen of the Air, the most famous woman in the world at the turn of the 20th century, and her star-crossed love affair with Alfredo Codona, of the famous Flying Codona Brothers. We paired Queen of the Air with the unexpected, delicious recipe for peach bruschetta from The Perfect Peach.

Eat It.

Peach Bruschetta from The Perfect PeachPeach Bruschetta
Recipe from The Perfect Peach by Marcy, Nikiko, and David Mas Masumoto
Serves 4 to 6

arugula pesto
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 cups arugula
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for 
brushing the bread
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 baguette, sliced 3/8 inch thick
1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 soft small peaches, peeled, halved, 
pitted, and cut into wedges 1/4 inch 
thick
Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Coarse salt

1. To make the pesto, combine the garlic and walnuts in a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil and arugula and continue to pulse until the mixture is evenly moist and spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. To make the bruschetta, heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and rosemary. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill. When the fire is ready, paint each bread slice on both sides with oil. Arrange the bread on the grill rack and toast, turning once, for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (If you do not have a grill, toast the bread on both sides in a preheated broiler until golden brown.)

4. When the bread slices are ready, let them cool enough to handle, then rub the smashed garlic cloves on both sides of each slice. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the pesto on one side of each bread slice. (You will need only 1/2 cup pesto; cover and store any remaining pesto in the refrigerator for another use.) Top each slice with some of the caramelized onion, 1 or 2 peach slices, a little Parmesan, and a sprinkle of salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

RELATED: Minus the Smoke and Mirrors: Dean Jensen’s Queen of the Air

Read It.

Queen of the Air Book Excerpt

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