The Best Salad for Lunch with Friends

| |

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.

A white platter with the fixings for salad niçoise.

On my blog, Living Large in A Small House, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you purchase via the link. The price will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link. You can find my full Disclosure Policy HERE

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.

a vintage blue bowl with bibb lettuce for the best salad for lunch with friends

The Salad Ingredients for this Version

The salad that my friend served was a more updated version. These were the ingredients.

  • Tuna
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Capers
  • Red Onion
  • Green Beans
  • New Potatoes
  • Bibb Lettuce
  • Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
A white platter with the fixings for salad niçoise. A blue vintage bowl filled with bibb lettuce and a smaller blue vintage bowl with the homemade vinaigrette. Two leaf shaped salad plates with two forks.

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

Other Ingredients

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
  • Cheeses
  • Avocado
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms

    The sky is the limit!

    Fresh basil, thyme and oregano ready to be chopped for homemade salad dressing

    Salade Niçoise

    Prep Time1 hour
    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: French
    Keyword: Lunch, Salad Nicoise, Vinaigrette
    Servings: 4 servings


    • Cutting Board
    • Large White Platter
    • Salad Bowls
    • Salad Dressing Blender
    • Salad Spinner
    • measuring cups
    • measuring spoons
    • sharp knife
    • Salad Servers
    • 1 large saucepan
    • 1 medium saucepan



    • 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

    Salad Ingredients

    • 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


    Salad Dressing

    • Mix together all ingredients in a ball jar. Cover tightly with lid and shake until well combined

    Salad Ingredients

    • 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.

    Other Salads

    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.

    Chicken Caesar Salad

    5 of My Favorite Salads

    Pasta & Shrimp Salad

    Best Ranch Dressing

    Let’s Do Lunch


    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.

    Dessert that was served after the best salad for lunch with friends

    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.

    Peace and Love,

    I have a great conversation this week with the lovely Amy from @thevintagebreadbox.

    Save this pin to remember the recipe on Pinterest. Don’t forget to follow me when you are there!

    pinterest graphic of a white platter with salad ingredients with an overlay that reads "the best salad for lunch with friends"

    Sharing is caring!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. I love a Niçoise salad. It’s one of my favorites. A couple of weeks ago, I was dreaming about one. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m definitely making it. Hugs to you.

      1. After I had this salad at my girlfriends house, I couldn’t stop thinking about it either. I have all the ingredients again for this week 🙂