Are you wondering what is the best salad for lunch with friends? I recently visited a very long-time friend at her new home in downtown Chicago.
She made the most amazing salad for lunch. It was so good that I made a version of the salad for Emma and me the following Monday.
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The Best Salad for Lunch with Friends
This wasn’t just any old salad, it was Salade Niçoise. She served it like a salad bar so you could swap out any of the ingredients and add things that you like to have on your salad.
After some research, I discovered that the original version that was made in France didn’t actually have lettuce. It was served as an appetizer with either tuna or anchovies (not both), tomatoes, niçoise olives, fava beans, cooked baby artichokes, and sweet peppers with a vinaigrette dressing.
The Salad Ingredients for this Version
The salad that my friend served was a more updated version. These were the ingredients.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Kalamata Olives
- Red Onion
- Green Beans
- New Potatoes
- Bibb Lettuce
- Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
As luck would have it I had some broasted new potatoes from our Sunday dinner in the refrigerator so this was an excellent way to use some leftovers. I also had everything but the red onions on hand so I left that out of the salad that I made for me and Emma. The dressing is my version of the original.
“A Sweet Friendship Refreshes the Soul”
– Proverbs 27:9
This salad would be so easy to change things up by changing the proteins and adding different ingredients.
- Chicken, Shrimp, or Salmon
- Hearts of Palm
- Shaved Carrots
The sky is the limit!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped fine
- 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
- 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped fine
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 8 oz. cans of albacore tuna in water, drained
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- 1 pound new potatoes, cut in half
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 oz green beans, cut into 1" pieces
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives
- 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
- 1 head of bibb lettuce, cored, rinsed, drained and torn into bite sized pieces
- Mix together all ingredients in a ball jar. Cover tightly with lid and shake until well combined
- Boil water in a large sauce pan. Add water and continue boiling on medium high heat for 10-15 minutes or until just fork tender. Drain and put into cold water for a few minutes then drain. Toss them with 2 tablespoons of dressing.
- In a small bowl put the sliced onions with 1 tablespoon of dressing and toss gently.
- While potatoes are cooking, boil 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and toss in green beans with 1 tsp salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain and put into cold water for a few minutes then drain.
- Arrange the ingedients on a platter. You can arrange on top of the lettuce or serve the lettuce on the side. Drizzle dressing over the ingredients.
- Serve remaining dressing with the salad.
If you’ve been following me, you know that I love salads. Here are just some more of my favorites! If you click on the salad, it will take you to the post.
For dessert, we had cut up pineapple and strawberries with biscotti cookies, served in a martini glass. It was so good. All in the presentation.
There is something about lunch with friends that is so special. Spending an afternoon with a good friend is therapeutic. Talking and laughing about life, taking a trip down memory lane, it’s all so very lovely.
I have a great conversation this week with the lovely Amy from @thevintagebreadbox.
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