Salad Brain Exercise–Beets and Cherries

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.






Simple balsamic vinaigrette


It’s fun to pick a color as a design parameter and go from there. Red beets, cherries, and radicchio are all in the same color family of reds that go toward blue, purple.  Same colors, but very different tastes.  Sweet juicy cherries, earthy beets, and bitter radicchio.  The only tastes missing are salty and sour, both provided by the dressing.  So what contrasting color feels right with these dark beauties? The complementary opposite, of course, yellow that goes toward blue, greener.

It sure is a nice coincidence when there’s a platter in the cupboard that is the perfect complement!  Add avocadoes for a creamy component. The peppers are cut into little rings to add a strong design shape to the otherwise low contrast of the reds. You have to look closely to see the different red elements. It’s like a quiet background.


Eliminate the greens and add stark white in the form of creamy cheese. Pistachios would provide a hint of green and some crunch. Thin chive sticks would be fun and even crazier fun with purple chive flower petals scattered over the reds.  How would you like the cherries to become kalamata olives?  Frisee lettuce would add a feathery look. Red onion slivers are also in the same red family. Sliced rounds of fresh green figs would offer the same yellow-green and a lighter red center to go with the dark reds.


Related Posts