The small town I grew up in had a few townie restaurants – one a breakfast and lunch joint and one a pizza place. The pizza place was where sports teams had team dinners, where there were birthday parties, pretty much any low key celebration could be done at this place. And this place was known for its honey mustard sauce. Just about every order also included a request for honey mustard that came in a small cup on the side. Big parties just got bowls of the stuff so everyone could spoon out what they wanted. Did I mention this was primarily a pizza place?
The honey mustard was to dip pizza crusts, or the pita bread that came on the side of a salad, or to drizzle over the top of your pizza if you were really devoted to the stuff. It was a necessary part of the experience, probably the highlight of a place that admittedly had pretty bad pizza. It’s not worth a trip back when I visit my family but I still miss the honey mustard sauce. Or at least I did until I realized the extra ingredient besides honey and mustard. Spoiler alert: it’s mayo.
If you’re a mayo-phobe but love honey mustard sauce, forget what I just said and eat your sauce in peace. But I was pretty excited to learn that all I needed was one extra staple ingredient to get honey mustard at home without the lackluster pizza. You know how some things you loved as a kid or teenager are not as good when you have them again as an adult (I’m looking at your Chef Boyardee)? This is not one of those things. I don’t think this is even fancied up from the honey mustard sauce I loved as a kid, except for the homemade mayo. But c’mon, homemade mayo; it’s just so good.
I know that condiments can be a touchy subject. The subject took up most of lunch the other day at the office over some deli sandwiches. Mustard, mayo, ketchup – they all have serious proponents and serious detractors. One of my coworkers, who cannot stand mayo, loves French’s mustard so much that he claims to travel with it, just in case it’s not available somewhere. And my roommate looks suspiciously at anything I make that looks creamy just in case it has mayo (no, I don’t sneak it into her food … yet). But if you love condiments, if you consider mayo on bread to be a perfectly acceptable snack (that’s my hand raised in the air), then this one’s for you.
Honey Mustard Sauce
Makes about a half cup of sauce, plenty for dipping
A quick thing to keep in mind: I like to use a mix of dijon mustard (for the flavor) and whole grain mustard (since it looks nice). I also use more honey since the sauce I remember was pretty sweet. There are no rules about this, I would just recommend that you use whatever mustard you like and experiment with different proportions of mustard:honey to get a flavor you want.
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tbs whole grain mustard
2 1/2 – 3 tbs honey
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. The sauce will keep for up to a week in the fridge, or more if you’re not using homemade mayo (but, c’mon, homemade mayo!). It’s a great dip for vegetable sticks, pretzels, and yes, pizza crusts.