The Best Salad for Lunch With Friends

4 servings
1 hr 15 min

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.

On my blog Living Large in A Small House, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay 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.

Foodtalk Recommends!

Help your food last longer and keep fresher with these highly recommended airtight food storage containers that Amazon reviewers swear by!

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

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!

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.

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.

Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board by hovering over the left-hand corner and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest.

Where you can follow me


The Best Salad for Lunch With Friends
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 15 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info
  • 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 potatoes 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.
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.
In a small bowl put the sliced onions with 1 tablespoon of dressing and toss gently.
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.
Living Large in A Small House
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • These are so much fun to prepare and eat. I have subbed asparagus for the green beans, added marinated artichokes, added endive, swapped out tuna for grilled salmon or shrimp - the options are endless. What doesn't change much is the dressing. I have on occasion, grated in some garlic. Just depends on who I am serving and their preferences. Where do you get 8 ounce cans of tuna? Haven't seen that size for a couple of decades except in import stores and typically a European brand packed in oil. What they sell here are 5 ounce tins. And . . . I am preparing lunch for my coworkers in a couple days. Think this will be part of the menu! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sta7644767 Sta7644767 on May 13, 2023

    Boil water the add water and boil till tender??? You need to proof read before publishing. What other mistakes are there?