Summer time is known for its abundance of fresh produce, like squash, peaches, and tomatoes, and though peak season produce is delicious on its own, having some go-to seasonings to enhance the natural goodness is key. DAK’s Spices, created by an adorable Birmingham couple (Drew And Karen Clark, hence the name DAK), are the perfect pairing for all of summer’s bounty, and among the ingredients I reach for often in my kitchen these days. Since Drew and Karen love to entertain and show off the bounty of the market with their spices, I asked them to share some of their favorite summer recipes, and I think you’ll agree that the fantastic, small bites/appetizers that follow are perfect for any occasion, from casual cookouts to evening dinner parties!
SUMMER SQUASH ROLL UPS WITH DAK’s SUPER GREEK
- 3-4 summer squash
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of DAK’s SUPER GREEK or GREEN ZEST
In a small bowl, add the goat cheese and 1 tablespoon of SUPER GREEK or GREEN ZEST. Stir until well combined. Place in the refrigerator.
Slice the squash length wise. Slices should be around 1/8 inch thick. Using a mandolin will help make the slices equal in thickness.
In a small bowl combine ¼ cup of olive oil and 1 tsp of SUPER GREEK or GREEN ZEST. Stir.
With a pastry brush, lightly brush the olive oil mixture on the both sides of the squash.
Grill over high heat until well-marked on both sides, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the grill and place on a plate.
Spread each piece of squash with about 2 tsp of the cheese.
Roll up, secure with a toothpick and place on a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining slices.
PANCETTA WRAPPED PEACHES WITH DAK’s ORIGINAL RED
- 16 thin slices of pancetta
- 2 medium peaches, halved, pitted, and cut into 8 wedges each
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon DAK’s ORIGINAL RED
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lime juice, and ORIGINAL RED. Whisk to combine. Set aside. This makes a fantastic marinade for fish, chicken, or pork. However, in this recipe it will be used to flavor the peaches and pancetta.
Lay the pancetta slices out on a counter. Set a peach wedge at the edge of each slice.
With a pastry brush, lightly brush the marinade over the pancetta and peach. Roll up the pancetta to enclose the peach and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the other peach wedges.
In a medium skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add half the wrapped peaches and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the pancetta is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining peaches.
This could also be cooked on the grill pan/tray over medium high heat on the grill for 4-6 minutes, flipping after about 2-3 minutes.
TOMATO CAPRESE BITES WITH DAK’s GREEN ZEST
- 4-5 ripe tomatoes
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of DAK’S GREEN ZEST
- One container of mozzarella pearls
Cut tomato into halves and then cut each half into 4 smaller wedges.
Add tomatoes to a bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and GREEN ZEST.
Pour the mixture on the tomatoes and gently stir until well coated.
Marinate the mixture for 30 minutes to one hour.
Take a piece of tomato out of the bowl. Place a mozzarella pearl on top of the tomato and spear with toothpick. Place on a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes. Serve immediately.
Don’t these bites look scrumptious?!! Look for DAKs at Pepper Place Market, New York Butcher Shoppe, Neighborhood Hops and Vine, V. Richards, Freshfully, Alabama Goods and other area retailers or purchase online HERE.
DAK’S are the spice blends created by Drew And Karen (DAK) Clark. Karen blended her own spices for years but had never thought about sharing her spices with others. When she met Drew, he fell in love with her and her cooking. He had the idea that she should offer her spice blends to others which was the start of DAK’s Spices. Currently, DAK’s Spices offers 9 different spice blends. All spice blends contain a unique combination of spices and are completely SALT FREE, MSG FREE, and PRESERVATIVE FREE. So much flavor is packed in one bottle, no other spices are necessary to make any dish gourmet. DAK’s started selling their spices at Pepper Place, a farmers market and had stellar success. DAK’s is now available in a number of local stores like V. Richards, Freshfully, and Alabama Goods. Several restaurants like The Fish Market and Todd English’s P.U.B. are now using DAK’s as salt free options in their food. DAK’s has also been featured in cooking segments NBC and Fox. Get your own bottle of DAK’s and you will start falling in love too. For more information and additional recipes, visit our website at www.daksspices.com.