Salad Brain Exercise–Caprese Succotash Salad

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.



Forkhook lima beans

Onion rings

Mozzarella pearls

Corn on the cob

Olive oil and vinegar drizzle.

Coarse salt and pepper

Cornbread Croutons


Caprese–tomato, mozzarella, and basil meet Succotash–corn, tomato, and lima beans.

The cornbread croutons are under the salad so they can soak up the tomato juices.

First, the corn slabs. Cook corn on the cob for this purpose or try this when you have some leftover in the fridge.  Cut the corn from the cob in long strips and incorporate them into the salad intact. It’s a fun look.

I love bags of frozen beans.  Fordhooks are especially big and creamy.  They almost mimic the mozzarella cheese.  I liked the look of the little pearls here, but use what you have and see where it takes you. The onion rings are very delicate and light.  Fresh basil. Coarse black pepper adds more of a flavor and design statement than you might think.


Try any frozen beans. Cook them just until tender in salted water.  Maybe toss the beans with the oil and vinegar.  Different colors and shapes of tomato will make an interesting statement.  Cornbread croutons are cool and southern, but how about using good crusty Italian bread cubes. Instead of soft mozzarella, how about nutty, salty pecorino bits.  Other fresh herbs.  I think celery would be nice. How about those big speckled butter beans?

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