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[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

This week's lunch box was borne out of a desire to make and eat my favorite potato salad for lunch, followed by the begrudging conclusion that just potato salad does not a responsible lunch make. So I added some things—handfuls of arugula and a base of black quinoa—to turn a side dish craving into a full-fledged meal.

While I would never be one to turn away a mayo-based potato salad, I prefer to make a lighter, tangier version. A simple vinaigrette of mustard, olive oil, and fresh tarragon goes a long way, contouring the sweet, mild flavor of the potatoes without overwhelming, and preserving the texture without becoming something gloppy and scoop-able. Crispy sausage is a natural accompaniment, as is the rendered fat whisked into the dressing. Quinoa soaks it all up—and provides a delicious disguise for a summer picnic hankering.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at TheSuzChef.com and on twitter @the_suzchef.

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