Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Mustardy Quinoa with Sausage, Potato, and Tarragon


[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.