Salad Brain Exercise–Red and White? What’s it Screaming For?

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

The platter salad 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 creative field, the steps of creativity are the same. Here we’re using salads because we all have some experience with salad. Salad is a low stakes, easy medium for practicing everyday creativity. Plus, your beautiful installation eats will feed you well and shouldn’t we all be eating more salads anyway?


For an introduction to platter salads, read Welcome to Platter Salad Creativity.

Here’s a simple exercise that explains how platteral thinking works:

Exercise:  Reds. Does this red and white salad need something? Why is it a bit irritating? What is it screaming for? Intuitively you know–It needs its complementary color. That would be green.




Red jalapenos

radish rings

Here it is with green avocado and cilantro. But that’s just one solution. What would you do?

See the difference? Just think if I had been a bit more intentional about the presentation. And don’t forget shapes and sizes. Everything is adjustable. What else would you/could you add in the green family?  The list is long! Watercress, sprouts, pepitas, green jalapenos, green peppers, green onions, shaved fennel, baby greens…

The dressing will all depend on the direction the meal is going. It could be creamy or tangy vinaigrette. How about using the complementary color green in the dressing–creamy avocado or green goddess.

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