Salad Brain Exercise–Green Bean

by Min Merrell

Salad Brain is a creativity platform.

These exercises use the platter, rather than the typical deep salad bowl, as the canvas for creation and a means to illustrate the universal process of creative thinking and design. No matter the field, the steps of creativity are the same. Here we’re using salads because we all have some experience with salad, a low-stakes, easy medium for practicing everyday creativity. Plus, your installation will feed you beautifully and well, and shouldn’t we all be eating more salads anyway?


For an introduction to getting in touch with your salad brain, read Welcome to Salad Brain Creativity.


Leftover vegetables like:

Cooked green beans

Cooked corn on the cob

Cooked baby lima beans

Tomatoes–cherry and big red

Red onion

Baby spinach

Simple vinaigrette


The “must goes” in the fridge must go and provide a great opportunity to explore creativity.  This is not about perfect, it’s working within parameters.  Here’ it’s let’s see what we can do with what we have and need to use. Can they be a salad?  Of course.  This salad may seem busy, but remember Jackson Pollack, there’s still some rhythm and swing in the chaos. The ingredients point toward succotash.  The different shapes add interest.  Cut the corn into slabs for a bigger statement.  Consider the shape and colors of your tomatoes.  Onion for savory umami cut into nice slivers.  Don’t think watery crispy greens like iceberg or romaine lettuce sound as appetizing as the dark spinach leaves.


These ingredients are just a guide.  Your leftovers can swing in so many directions. Isn’t this a great salad to turn into a main dish? Add any leftover meats, chicken, salmon, tuna, tofu–you name it. Add cornbread or cornbread croutons. Any bean would work.  If your corn is already in niblet form, sprinkle it on.  You don’t really need the greens.  Does this salad seem to messy for you?  Edit! Eliminate!  Create a more obvious focal point. Change the proportions to showcase one ingredient–the one you have the most of in the fridge.  This salad seems like an opportunity to go with convenience and select your favorite bottled dressing.  No shame in that.



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