Spicy Sesame Dip

At first, the combination of Asian ingredients and mayonnaise struck me as very bizarre, but I tried it anyway and discovered a great treat. It’s especially good with pea pods, asparagus, and bell peppers, or mixed into cooked and cooled spaghetti.

Makes 1¾ to 2 cups.

2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ cup cooled, brewed tea
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup tahini
1 cup mayonnaise
1 scallion (green part), finely chopped for garnish

1. Place the garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until chopped. Add the mustard, cayenne, and chili powder and process for 30 seconds. While the machine is still running, gradually add the tea, vinegar, soy sauce, tahini and mayonnaise and process until completely smooth.

2. Transfer to a small serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Garnish with scallion.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)