Special Sauce

August 22, 2010

Author Notes: Inspired by the recipe Vegetables with Saffron-Chili Mayonnaise in the Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook, one of my many favorite books. Great with burgers, or to dip veggies, crisp potato wedges, or my favorite, fried onion rings. -mrslarkinmrslarkin

Food52 Review: I stood whisking up this recipe with the Big Mac jingle stuck in my head, wedging the special sauce between two all beef patties and lettuce. But tasting Mrs. Larkin’s condiment by the same name proved it shouldn’t be sandwiched between any two things at all. It should be the star of the plate or at least be positioned in the role of the best supporting sauce. The condiment lightly skims the food it meets with a lemony garlic front end and a sriracha-inspired kick. I’ll use this saffron-colored beauty as a dip, a plated sauce under a steak, and stirred into fish stew. - cheese1227The Editors

Makes: about 1 3/4 cups


  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch of saffron threads, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups good-quality mayonnaise, or homemade
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • dash of salt
In This Recipe


  1. Warm the lemon juice and water. Add saffron and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the garlic and mash to a paste with the side of a chef's knife.
  3. In a medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, combine all ingredients and whisk with a fork. Taste for sugar and salt.
  4. Cook's Note: For a nice low-fat dipping sauce, mix Special Sauce into Non-fat Greek Yogurt to taste.

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Condiment/Spread|Lemon Juice|Saffron|Make Ahead|Vegetarian|Gluten-Free